Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

I followed with great concern the Senate fight on the Treaty of Versailles and the League.

I saw the League impotent to prevent aggression by Japan in Manchuria, impotent to do anything about Italian aggression in Ethiopia, impotent to do anything about the civil war in Spain which was assisted, if it was not actually fomented by various international intrigues. In the summer of 1939 I saw the League helpless over the onset of the Second World War.

The trouble with the League of Nations was that it lacked the power which an international organization must have; and the United Nations is in danger of falling into the same situation. It will fall into the same situation unless it is given greater power and a police force.

I think there is no use in my enlarging on the situation which exists in the world today. All the gentlemen who preceded me described it with eloquence and I think with perfect accuracy.

I myself am very much opposed to anything which even remotely savors of appeasing Communist aggression in the world and I have absolute confidence that this committee will protect the country from anything so hideous and so wrong morally.

At the same time I deplore the view that war with Russia is inevitable, or peace with Russia impossible.

Yesterday morning there was laid on my desk a Positive Program for Peace by the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, and I suppose that council represents millions of as high-minded people as there are in this country.

I do not intend to discuss in detail their proposals. They have seven main propositions. They say that our people should not tolerate any complacency about war which would engulf all in misery; that our people should combat a mood of hysteria or blind hatred; that they should reject fatalism about war which is not inevitable; that they should not rely primarily on military strategy to meet Communist aggression; that they should press for positive programs that have immediate possibilities for peace and justice; that our people ought each one of them, to contribute to a change of mood so as to increase the chance of averting war without compromise of basic convictions, and that our churches ought to testify with renewed vigor to God's righteous love.

Now, these concurrent resolutions are not mentioned by the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America but it seems to me they afford the best vehicle for the mobilization of that kind of opinion.

The concurrent resolution proposes strengthening the Charter in three definite ways:

First, by the elimination of the veto as to aggression, and threatened aggression;

Second, by inspection with respect to atomic and other superdeadly weapons; and

Third, by the international police force. There has been some discussion about the effect of articles 51, 52, 59, and 109 of the United Nations Charter. If I prepare a memorandum, I may be able to illuminate those technical points somewhat.

The theory of amendment which is advanced in these concurrent resolutions, I think is a sound theory. These are the powers which the United Nations Organization must have if the Organization is to function, if it is to be an effective agency of collective security.

ī

None of us, of course, has very much faith that Russia will come along in anything. Still, if Russia does genuinely fear aggression, some amendment to the Charter of the United Nations would afford Russia a security which no amount of Cominunist penetration and infiltration will give her.

Of course, those amendments to the Charter of the United Nations will give this country additional security.

I cannot believe, Mr. Chairman, that this country can go on indefinitely with a budget of something like $20,000,000,000 a year for national defense. At some time, sooner or latter, there must be a resolution of this difficulty. You must either have war with Russia, which would largely destroy both countries and will destroy the defeated nation almost completely, or you must come sometime to some kind of settlement. I think the best hope of reaching a settlement is through the United Nations,

I am sure, Mr. Chairman, you and your fellow members get the same kind of mail I do, imploring me to prevent a new world war. They implore me to vote against selective service; they implore me to vote against universal military training.

To the extent that my constituents want me to make America weak for the sake of preserving peace, I have not a particle of patience with I them. There is, however, in the world, a desire to avoid a third world

war, which is significant, which is certainly not ignoble, and which Et I think we must harken to. I know of no better way of approaching

the problem than through these resolutions and the effectuation of the objectives which these resolutions have in mind.

I hope very much, Mr. Chairman, that the resolutions will be favorably reported.

Chairman EATON. Thank you, Mr. Hale.
The next witness, then, is Mr. Muhlenberg, of Pennsylvania.

а

STATEMENT OF HON. FREDERICK A. MUHLENBERG, A MEMBER OF

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA

Mr. MUHLENBERG. I appreciate very much the honor and privilege of appearing before you.

Briefly, my testimony is not to repeat but to supplement what has already been said by my distinguished colleagues and therefore I believe that I should confine my testimony to a general discussion of background of the various proposals that have been presented so far for possible amendments to the Charter,

I have been sold on the idea of a League of Nations or a United Nations ever since the winter in France of 1919 when as a wounded soldier I was in Paris when President Wilson first arrived there. When I saw the worship and the hope with which he was greeted, it seemed to me that it was necessary that some international organization be effectuated in order to forward the cause of world peace

and I have believed it ever since.

It is true that in the days immediately after that, the United States as not prepared either mentally or politically to enter into a worldwide organization, but I do believe that this committee should seriously consider the effect on our national attitude of the thinking that has gone on in the United States ever since that day in 1919

75921-48-3

I believe that the United States realizes that sacrifices are necessary in order to forward the cause of world peace, and that our citizens generally are ready now, both mentally and politically, to make the concessions that they must make if the cause of peace in the world is to be carried forward.

The question before the committee is very largely, first of all, to decide whether or not the Charter of the United Nations should be amended or whether it should not. If it is the decision of the committee that the Charter needs amendment, then furthering that, the question must be, how should it be amended.

I think first of all I should bring to your attention something that has been said to me by opponents of the idea of world cooperationfor even opponents' ideas can clarify the thinking.

One, a man talking to me sometime ago said that he did not believe that with or without the Marshall plan the United States could actually help or make possible the economic rehabilitation of western Europe.

He said there were four things that caused the prosperity of Europe during the last century and that in his opinion all four had vanished into the limbo of the forgotten. One was the exploitation of colonies: and that obviously the day of exploitation of colonies has gone by.

Another, he said, was the overworking or underpayment of workmen in Europe. Obviously, that has gone by.

The third one was the building up of the economy of Europe by the wheat and harvests in the Ukraine. He said that obviously that was not possible. The fourth, and probably the most important, was exportation of coal from western Europe or investment of funds in foreign holdings.

He said that therefore he believed that building up the economy of Europe was not possible under present conditions.

That leads me to think very seriously that what we must do is not try to restore the conditions that existed before the Second World War, but to come to a new feeling of cooperation, a new feeling of understanding, and a new economy in Europe: and that, Mr. Chairman, is the reason why I believe it is wise for this Nation to consider the possibility of an international charter that is possible under present world conditions:

A charter under which our part in the world can actually be a useful part of forwarding the cause of world peace.

Let me allude very briefly to the three schemes that have come to my attention for amending the Charter, if the Charter can and is to be amended:

The first one is that United Nations can exist and only should exist as a debating society.

I do not like the idea, nor do I believe the American people subscribe to that idea. If that is all it is going to be, then it can merely be a mirror of fact and opinion that can be just as effectively accomplished in other and cheaper ways.

The second suggested scheme is to invite all members of the United Nations to join the United States in a declaration of policy of review of a violation of article 2, section 4, which is the pledge neither to use force nor threats of force against any United Nations member, as a threat to the security of all.

a

[ocr errors]

a

a

[ocr errors]

This plan was advocated in the Middle West a few days ago. This seems to me to be even feebler than the first suggestion because although entirely possible under the existing framework it would be simply a gesture and could only be regarded as weak and forceless.

There is another suggestion that has been advanced, that of a world federation or at least a trans-Atlantic federation.

I believe that, whether this idea is actually the ultimate end of what we are going to accomplish, or whether it is not, and that I shall not debate, nevertheless this proposed amendment of the Charter of the United Nations is a step in the right direction, a step forward, so that 1 believe even this suggestion is entirely consistent with that maybe somewhat larger idea of a world cooperative commonwealth.

Finally, may I say, Mr. Chairman, I am of the opinion that if the United States is to continue as a worth-while coordinator of the effort of United Nations and facing its present position in the world today it must take the lead. The UN movement must be strengthened through curtailing the present power of the veto. I believe further that we should adopt this position now, even though the United States was originally one of the powers that encouraged the idea of the veto.

The history of the immediate past within the organization indicates that the veto in use has been obstructive and has too often prevented the almost unanimous desire of participants from becoming effective.

I am not willing to see the United States bound forever by a policy which has been proven impractical of accomplishment. I strongly urge your favorable consideration of the resolution.

With your permission, Mr. Chairman, may I conclude by reading something that I have already put into the record in a speech made on March 16, a statement by Benjamin Franklin on the day when our own United States came into being, March 4, 1789, which seems to me to express the idea of thinking people in the United States and all over the world.

He said then : God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say “This is my country.”

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, with your permission I will file a short written brief which covers what I have said in somewhat more detail. Chairman EATON. Thank you very much, Mr. Muhlenberg. (The statement referred to is as follows:)

STATEMENT OF HON. FREDERICK A. MUHLENBERG, A MEMBER OF CONGRESS FROM THE

STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA Mr. Chairman, I appear before you to testify for House Concurrent Resolution 169 of which I am the author, one of 16 identical resolutions simultaneously presented in the House March 16 designed to recommend the strengthening of United Nations Organization brought forward to relieve the present tragic impotence of this world-wide organization.

In reasoning out the intent of this resolution presented some 6 weeks ago it has been necessary to read, and I have read carefully, various arguments pro and con on this subject brought out since the introduction of the resolution and I remain of the opinion that the scheme suggested therein is the most practical if changes are to be made and that if changes are not made the United Nations Organization cannot become a constructive force for peace nor for cooperative development of world resources. I wish to comment briefly on oth plans that have been brought to my attention.

It was stated by one brief that United Nations as set up was designed to and can be only a debating society and that this is the ultimate we should do for in such an organization. I am not satistied to relegate the United Natio Organization to such an impotent existence, nor do I think is the Americ public, which has registered, in my opinion, a strong stand for furtherance amity through international cooperation for which I believe it thought Unit Nations was designed.

Rather than dismissing United Nations potentialities as minor, I believe it necessary to implement the Organization so that it can do effective work, ev in face of obstructive tactics.

I am not satisfied either with another scheme which has been proposed—th is, to invite all members of the United Nations to join the United States in declaration of policy that would view any violation of article 2, section 4pledge neither to use force nor threats of force against any United Nations me ber—as a threat to the security of all. This seems to me to be feebler than t first suggestion because though entirely possible under the existing framewo it would be simply a gesture and could only be regarded as weak and forcele

I have considered carefully the basic idea of world federation, or a fede tion of trans-Atlantic nations and believe the plan for United Nations suggest by the resolutions consistent with possible development of this still larger ii and a necessary first step thereto, one that stands more chance of world acce ance in view of world-wide national attachments and a step that might be trial period toward greater cooperation and more general sacrifice of individi national aspirations.

I am of the opinion that if the United Nations is to continue as a worth wh coordinator of effort, it must be strengthened through curtailing the present pov of the veto and that we should adopt this position now, even though the Uni States was originally one of the powers that encouraged it. The history of immediate past within the Organization indicates that the veto in use has bi obstructive, has too often prevented the almost unanimous desire of participa from becoming effective, and leads to impotence, a sure way of negating fine desire that created the Organization.

I am not willing to see the United States bound forever by a policy wh has proven impracticable of accomplishment. I realize the danger that present Organization faces in Russia's possible refusal; but with today's kno edge the set-up would have been differently conceived originally and I believe immediate risk should be taken, both for the ultimate good of the nations ; with the hope that Russia may see a better national future within rather ti without the group.

· I realize also that the United States would share in the risk and in a se. would be giving up a degree of autonomy under which it might be outvoted ?" restricted on the degree to which it might arm for what is considered defe purposes; yet judging from the assent which was given on international coni of the atom bomb development, I am convinced that the American people wo accept this rather than see the whole plan go down to failure, toward which i certainly heading unless constructive action can be taken. I strongly urge y favorable consideration.

I conclude with a statement I made in the House of Representatives March 1948.

(The statement referred to is as follows:)

THE UNITED NATIONS AND PEACE Mr. Speaker, we are all deeply concerned in efforts to establish peace in world. There are only three ways today when one nation, and one alone, threat peace: The first is that advocated by Henry Wallace and his supportersidea that we shall give in to the Russian bear for what it wants, depending the Red Government of Russia to work for the good of mankind; or anot

plan is now being followed in part by certain western European countries defensive alliance of material and men—a strengthening of all national resou

in a determination for survival at all costs; or a third plan that of strengti sing a world alliance of like-minded power's determined that by their might their combined good will peace and opportunity for the common man may engendered all over the world. I am for the third plan—which is the one propi here today.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »