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pasture in the morning and go back to the barns at night. Then you will have peace.”
We do not want peace on those terms.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD (presiding). Mr. Dulles, we thank you for a very fine statement.
We will meet at 2 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12:10 p. m., the committee adjourned, to reconvene at 2 p. m. of the same day.)
Mr. CHIPERFIELD (presiding). The meeting will come to order.
STATEMENT OF HON. OWEN J. ROBERTS, FORMER JUSTICE, UNITED
STATES SUPREME COURT
Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I have not a formal typewritten statement. I will be followed later by Mr. Streit, who will make a fuller presentation of the views that he and I hold than I make in my statement.
I have handed you a précis of the points I think important, and I shall enlarge upon them as I go along.
First, I agree with those who think it is important to preserve and perpetuate the United Nations. We were the ones who brought the United Nations into existence. We have buttressed great hopes of our own people and many people of the world on its continuance. To now denounce it and throw it over or destroy it would seem to me to be a very wrong thing to do. It has its uses, and we all know that. It has all the uses that the League of Nations had and the League of Nations did some very good things, by persuasion, by education, and enlightenment. It is a forum in which we can meet with the nations, we can disagree in system, in views, and in background. I think it should be kept, and we should endeavor to keep every nation in it that is now in it.
Secondly, I agree that the European recovery program, at least for this fiscal year, is essential to bridge the economic gap in western Europe. We cannot hope to get any organization of free peoples of the world, we cannot hope to avoid being less isolated and alone among the people who practice the free way of life if we permit the western European democràcries to disintegrate. They must have interim help until we can devise a way for permanent recovery of those nations, in my judgment.
I believe that neither the United Nations nor the European recovery program can preserve the system of individual freedom and democratic institutions, either in western Europe or in the United States. It seems to me perfectly evident that the United Nations cannot guarantee security to the democracies of western Europe. It is perfectly clear to me that the United Nations, as now set up, 'will not promote the economic recovery of the people of western Europe. If it were competent to do it, why should we be going into the European recovery program?
Neither will the European recovery program in the present status of the world, in my judgment, be a long-run method of promoting recovery in western Europe.
There are two things that western Europe requires for economic recovery. The first is military security and the second, a reasonable hope of economic and civilian means of restoring their economy.
Now, the European recovery plan, in my estimation, gives no hope of military security, and can give no permanent hope to our friends that our aid will be enough, or furnished long enough to insure the recovery of the western nations of Europe.
The proposals now before your committee stem from a similar belief, I take it, but I feel that these proposals in turn will prove inadequate to save the free way of life in the world.
First, I take the proposal to attempt to reform the United Nations by abolishing the veto. That, in my view, is impractical, both in method and in results. First, experience shows that any move to this end within the United Nations will involve a delay of years. If you gentlemen will envisage the length of time it has taken to determine that the United Nations cannot agree on a security force, and the length of time it has taken to determine that it cannot agree on an atomic energy plan, and if you will review the enormous delays that obstructionists have been able to use and to resort to in the United Nations whenever they wanted to oppose a plan, I think you will agree with my suggestion that you are going to have a talkfest that will run for years before you come to a show-down on any amendment. I think the crisis in Europe will not permit any
such delay. I think the patient will die while you are devising a remedy.
Secondly, abolition of the veto cannot be established without the consent of Russia and the United States. Russia will not consent. Have any of you any doubt about that? She said she would not consent. She said it over and over again officially.
The United States, in my judgment, should not consent if the United Nations remains a league of sovereign nations.
Now, you know what the amendment provisions are in articles 108 and 109. Russia must in the final show-down, after the Assembly shall have acted, consent to the amendment or the amendment does not take effect.
Now, the United States position in retaining the veto in the present United Nations framework seems to me to be completely sound. As long as we are dealing with a group of sovereign nations, I cannot see how the United States can give up the veto and allow the other nations for selfish or other motives, first, to put us into a war; second, to control the conduct of that war; and, third, to make the peace.
Mr. Bloom. Mr. Chairman, would the gentleman allow a question at that point ?
Mr. ROBERTS. Certainly.
Mr. BLOOM. Do you think the Senate would approve of adhering to or joining the United Nations if they did not have the veto power?
Mr. Roberts. They said they would not. There were Senators who said so from the floor.
Mr. Bloom. Do you think there is any doubt?
Mr. ROBERTS. I do not have the slightest doubt about it. I think I should have taken the same position as those Senators took on an analysis of what the United Nations was and how it could operate. How could we put our whole future at the peril of a majority decision of a security council? How could we do it, now?
Mr. CHIPERFIELD (presiding). Does the gentleman mind interruptions ?
Mr. ROBERTS. I would welcome them.
Mr. Bloom. May I ask this question: Do you know who suggested the veto?
Mr. ROBERTS. I do not; but I am perfectly sure that Britain and the United States and Russia were for it.
Mr. Bloom. There is no question about the United States suggesting the veto.
Mr. ROBERTS. I do not question that, but I am not interested in who suggested it, Mr. Bloom, at all. I am interested in what we would do if we took it away and stayed in that organization; what perils we run.
Mr. Bloom. That is the full veto. Of course, the abuse of the veto power is the only thing that is bad.
Mr. ROBERTS. I am coming to that in a minute.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Mr. Justice, our representative, Mr. Austin, has tried to amend the Charter in procedural matters, and in every instance he has failed because of Russia's failure to consent. I think your conclusion is absolutely sound.
Mr. JUDD. Will the gentleman yield? + Mr. CHIPERFIELD. We cannot get anywhere as long as Russia has the veto power.
Mr. JUDD. May I make this comment: Of course, you understand, Mr. Justice, that nobody has suggested, so far as I know, that we should eliminate the veto except in certain limited matters; one, the right of a nation to veto police action against itself if it is declared an aggressor, second, to veto action against it for arming for aggression; and, third, on the admission of new members to the United Nations. I do not think anybody has suggested that we should give up the veto on somebody else ordering our troops into battle, for example. That would be giving up the power to declare war which is vested solely in Congress and which unless there is genuine world government, Congress could not approve.
Mr. ROBERTS. Would you want to give up the veto on a questqion of whether action of the United States was aggressive? Would you like to have a majority of a security council put you under laps for that?
Mr. JUDD. I would not hestitate to give up the veto on that if there were reasonably substantial agreement among an overwhelming majority of the countries that we were an aggressor. I would not hesitate to give up our veto over a decision by perhaps a two-thirds vote of the United Nations, that a certain action by the United States was aggressive, because we do not intend ever to take action that could be called aggressive under any definition that might be adopted.
Mr. ROBERTS. You mean by the Security Council ?
Mr. ROBERTS. I do not believe I am prepared to go that far. Not in an international set-up, where national ambition is left to play out its part in the world, just as it has in the past, except for the intervention of diplomacy and force.
Mr. Bloom. Who would they gang up against ?
Mr. ROBERTS. Suppose they ganged up against us?
Mr. ROBERTS. Now, secondly, Russia will not consent. I do not know whether you will agree with that, but Russia says she entered the league on a solid covenant that the veto could not be abolished without her vote, and I think she is absolutely right in that position.
I do not think this Nation, which drew her into that covenant at San Francisco, can possibly repudiate that, in the face of her opposition now.
I do not go along with the criticisms of Russia for exercise of the veto. If she has misconstrued the contract as to what she can veto, then that is wrong, but I am not sure she has misconstrued the contract. In other words, it is a nice kind of an association where I and you and you agree that in a certain instance you may, if you wish, take certain action, and after the contract is clear, I say, "Well, you have that right but you ought not to exercise it; you want to be a decent fellow, don't you?
That is not the way Russia construes agreements. She reads them with every comma and every semicolon in them, and she reads them favorably to herself if she can, and she stands on the letter of her bargain. I, for one, cannot blame her for that.
Now, I think that the United States ought not to attempt to force the abolishment of the veto over Russia's objection by any kind of skullduggery. It would be a breach of faith for us to do it.
However, assume that we are willing to cross that bridge, you are going to either force Russia and her friends, and some neutrals, out of the United Nations, or you are going to force us and our friends to walk out and form some other organization. I agree that the United Nations, as now set up, cannot keep the peace. I do think it is valuable and almost vital to keep Russia in it so that we can talk to her, so that we do not lose completely some method of getting a world forum for the discussion of what we think are world wrongs and world rights.
However, suppose we walk out or she walks out, because we insist on an amendment and insist that she go along or quit. The proposals seem to be, then, gentlemen, that if Russia and the other nations leave the United Nations, or if we are forced to leave it and form another organization, we are to have the forming of a reformed United Nations, thus dividing the world into two camps.
As Mr. Dulles said this morning, he knew of a number of people who would not be for going along with us in this. There will be a bloc. · There will be two blocs.
Mr. JUDD. Of course part of your argument is directed toward defeating a proposal which, so far as I know, nobody has ever made. The same as Secretary Marshall and Mr. Austin spent most of their time shooting a strawman that we were trying to drive Russia out of the UN, or, on the other hand, were planning to get out ourselves. I do not know of anyone who has proposed either pushing her out or getting out ourselves.
Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. Congressman, is that the result?
Mr. ROBERTS. You attempt to have a reformation of the Charter under articles 108 or 109." Suppose Russia vetoes it. Then you go on. You
go on in the United Nations? Mr. Judd. Yes, certainly, we stay in the United Nations.
Mr. ROBERTS. Yes, certainly, so would I stay on in the United Nations, and I would not try to force anything on her.
Mr. Jupp. No, we should not try to force anything on her.
Mr. ROBERTS. I think if you succeed in qualifying the nature of the veto, even in the limited way you say, Russia will walk out of the United Nations.
Mr. JUDD. Why would she walk out! It is a bridge which is of enormous value to her because at the present time it has only a oneway stream of traffic in her favor. It is of much greater value to her than it is to us. I cannot see
what she would gain
by walking out. We would still be in, as Mr. Dulles said this morning, on a loose federation basis. Then we would also have a tighter arrangement for a group of us within the United Nations, not outside that organization, as I envisage it.
Mr. ROBERTS. Now, I am working for the United Nations, because that is what I am for.
Mr. Judd. We do not want people interpreting our resolution as meaning something we insist on every occasion it does not mean.
Mr. ROBERTS. Suppose you either amend the United Nations Charter, or you do not, one or the other?
Mr. JUDD. I grant you that we probably would not succeed in amending it, and it could not be done if Russia would not agree. But it has been my thought that it is worth making the effort.
Mr. ROBERTS. Nr. Congressman, do you envisage at all how long it would take to get that out of your system?
Mr. Judd. Certainly I have. I put this bill in the House of Representatives last July 9, and today is May 12. It has taken 10 months to get just to hearings.
Mr. ROBERTS. Suppose the United Nations starts on it. How long will it take within the United Nations even to get the question decided ? All western Europe will need all the propping up you can do for 5 years before you get to the question of being successful along your lines, in my judgment.
Mr. JUDD. While we are working at that we can also work on the more limited basis. I do not want to fail to exert every possible effort in that direction while we are working also under article 51.
Mr. ROBERTS. I would not work on the effort to change the covenant at all, sir.
Mr. Judd. Because you think it is so hopeless?
Mr. ROBERTS. Not only is it hopeless, but I think there is a better way to accomplish what we need to accomplish, without wasting time, effort, and destroying more good feeling by another battle within the United Nations, and it will be a prime battle, do not make any mistake about that.
Now, if the United Nations fails, if it breaks up as a result of a futile or successful attempt to amend the charter, then what is the next program? As I understand the program of the federalists, it is then to form another United Nations without Russia. Well, that is just as hopeless, or worse, in my judgment than what we are in now. A new United Nations without the veto, or with a limited veto, again means either that we must create an American empire, and lead this bunch, or we must be at the dictation of them in many respects. I do not think we can sit in either position in another League of Nations, and another United Nations.