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possibilities: One of them is to invite all the Latin-American states, and the other is to invite none, and the third would be to invite more advanced Latin-American democracies.
When I was writing Union Now I considered all those three plans. And I was thinking that the more advanced Latin-American democracies at that time, in the thirties, were Argentina, Costa Rica, and Colombia. Had I included them then, there would have been arguments against these particular three countries just now, and yet it seemed to me at the time, and still does, despite recent events in Costa Rica and Colombia, they are among the most advanced democracies among the Latin-American states.
You have disadvantages and dangers in each one of the three policies. By inviting all of them, you bring in a large number of republics that have not a great deal of experience in self-government, and you are loading your constitutional convention from the start with inexperience. If you leave them out you may offend them all. If you leave some of them out, you may offend all of them still more. It would seem to me on the whole that the more that are left out, the less offense there will be to anyone.
The fundamental thing for me in this matter is to get the constitution created on sound and free lines. If you have got that done, then our own history proves you can bring inexperienced peoples into that framework, so once you get the union accomplished you can invite and bring in the more advanced democratic states in these different
Mr. LODGE. Let us assume, Mr. Streit, instead of adding 140,000,000 or 150,000,000, that you have 175,000,000 people. Let us assume that you decide that you think Italy should be brought in because of the great demonstration that she has recently made.
Mr. STREIT. I said that if the majority viewpoint after due consideration of the risks involved in compromisive principles in that case thought that were the wiser course, it would be all right with me.
Mr. LODGE. Let us assume the meeting is called and the nations decide to invite Italy, and you end up with 175,000,000 to 200,000,000 instead of 140,000,000 to 150,000,000. This is the question I asked of Justice Roberts: At that point is it not true those people could commit the American taxpayers to an extensive implementation of whatever foreign policy those people, having the majority, voted or decided on?
Mr. STREIT. You must keep in mind that what we are setting up within this constitution would be a federal system with two houses and the other checks and balances in the courts, and so forth.
Mr. LODGE. The majority would still hold?
Mr. STREIT. The majority would hold in both houses, but the next thing is you would not have them voting by state lines and another consideration; I think in your question implied that the only democracy in any good shape is ours. The Swiss and the Swedes are in pretty good shape, and some of the others are, too.
Mr. LODGE. We went into that pretty thoroughly in connection with the European recovery program, Mr. Streit. Of course, there are certain areas of the world where you find economic weakness, and there are certain areas which require no grants-in-aid at all. Nevertheless, the solid concrete fact remains that this Congress, upon the recommendation of this committee—and I was one of those who recommended it-propose to tax the American people for $5,300,000,000
during a 12-month period. My question is, are you prepared to give that right to non-Americans ?
Mr. STREIT. I am prepared to give that right, the right to vote on these things, and all these governmental powers, under a free federal system. The workings of a free Federal system are highly important to this because you have parties then that cut across these national lines. If we cannot lift ourselves out of the concept we are in, of States voting as units for economic, or other reasons, we are in a bad situation.
Mr. LODGE. But you still have the hard fact that this is the region which can produce and the mere fact that you form a federal union is not going to change overnight the productive power or the economic status of the member nations of this particular union.
Mr. STREIT. You are going to start with certain factors of wealth, more here than other countries. You are going to have many potentialities in some of these other countries, or in their possesisons, that we do not have. You will be putting in your constitution, I would imagine, that the nonself-governing possesions of these democracies come under the rule of the whole union. We would have a big voice in that.
Mr. LODGE. I did not quite follow that last part.
Mr. STREIT. I say you would have the nonself-governing territories of the unions which would be under the direction of the whole union.
Well, Nigeria, if you want an example.
Mr. STREIT. Yes, just as the Northwest Territory, in our history, and other areas, which had great potentialities. Such territory would be governed by the new union, too.
Mr. LODGE. If I may interrupt you, we decided in connection with the European recovery program that in view of the fact they had this large dollar deficit, we did not think it would be right for us to preempt too far in advance the assets of the 16 participating nations. Of course, I keep referring to the European recovery program because this particular device will not change the hard facts of life in these various countries. We are still up against the same economic problenis no matter what the framework is.
Mr. STREIT. It will change the facts in time, and in a very short time. The few things I wanted to emphasize include, one, the party system. We made a study in Freedom and Union magazine of the party line up, on a Marxist and a non-Marxist basis, in the European democracies under the two suppositions that you have a European union and that you have a trans-Atlantic union, the larger one that I have proposed here.
Now, I would certainly believe that you will have that line cutting across the nation in either union. It woud work out this way, on the basis of present party strength in the different parliaments: If you allow one representative to a million population in the European union of these democracies here, the Marxists would have 63 votes. That includes 47 Socialists and the 16 communists. I put them together, for despite the fact they differ in many ways and the former
believe in freedom, they both are Marxist in that they believe in State ownership, one democratic and the other nondemocratic. There would also be 63 non-Marxists. You thus start a European union that is half and half, a weak situation. If you bring in the United States, Canada, and these other overseas democracies, this would be the lineup: Marxists, 69 seats; non-Marxists, 263, Mr. LODGE. Have you included America ?
Mr. STREIT. I am including the United States. Now, I would think that there would be more cause for fear on the part of some of these European countries than for fear along the line that you suggest, fear that the United States would be the great dominating influence in this union, not only on the party line-ups I have just given but from another concept. After all, Europeans might fear that even though we Americans would be divided into conservatives, liberals, socialists, what you want, we would all have pretty much the same background and would be more likely to vote together than some of the other countries that are more sharply divided on class lines. For that reason they could fear, the states of the United States as by far the largest state in the new union would give us a dominating position, more than they might think would be good for them. I mean you are bound to have fears on their side as well as ours.
Mr. LODGE. I sympathize with your sense of urgency, but the question, after all, is can we hasten the day by taking this procedural step, or should we wait until there is a more substantial basis, when there is more of a de facto union, before imposing a de jure union?
Mr. STREIT. Mr. Lodge, I am very glad you brought up that point. When Union Now was published in 1939 it was hailed by someone as an extravaganza. He wrote that I must mean the “now” in it in a geological sense. But it was only a year later that the British were begging the French to form a federal union with them. It was too late then. Now, that is what I tried to emphasize in my statement here, that if we wait to nibble and gnaw, as I said, our way to this, by the time we have done it we will have lost all of the effect. What we are trying to do is to keep peace without war.
To succeed in that we have to do something dramatic. We have to step ahead of our time. We have to jump over a certain space.
Mr. LODGE. I like that attitude.
Mr. STREIT. I think we are much closer to this union than many believe. I would like to cite two things in proof. One of them is a public opinion poll. Elmo Roper recently had a poll that he told me about a week or so ago, and he was astounded by it. I will not go into the details of the thing, but he asked the American people, if they could federate with the western European union on the basis of proportionate population representation, would they be willing to go in on that basis. As he put the question, it was practically our
, federal union proposal. The result was 43 percent in favor, 38 percent against.
Now, the other thing: In my reading of history, no federal union was ever created at a time when most people thought it was near at hand. In our own history, after the Federal Convention had been sitting for 6 weeks, George Washington, who certainly should have been able to size up contemporary opinion, wrote to Hamilton, “I almost despair of anything coming out of your convention, and do therefore repent having had any agency in the business.” But he held on, and 6 weeks later the Constitution was signed.
The outlook for union even then seemed to many very, very remote. That was also true of the Swiss when they changed over in 1848 from a league to a federal union. It is also true of 1707 when the United Kingdom was formed by Scotland and England. If you go back to 1707 you find the conditions that people then thought proved those countries were going apart really created the pressure that brought Scotland and England together to agree to the act of union.
I believe that in this year of 1948 we are going, by what I call nibble and gnaw on big issues, by taking actions that seem big at the time but really are too small for the occasion—by the nibble-andgnaw strategy we are going to pile up pressure on the political side, in international tension, and the economic side (which I think is one of the most important factors, much more than the atomic factor right now), in inflation, in the demand for price controls and all sorts of things that are going to come up. By the time you in Congress face revision of the European recovery program in January, you are going to be faced with a situation that is going to be much worse in many ways than the present one is, just as the present one is far worse than when the House voted the British loan. We are in a situation of accumulating pressures of necessity, and at the same time we are moving toward union on the educational side, if the House brings out a resolution convoking, or requesting the convocation of a federal convention of the free, we will have speeded the educational side enormously. These two forces necessity and education—will converge within a year or so, and that will bring great results then that now seem very remote. It was the convergence of the same two forces that brought about our own Constitution when few thought it possible.
Mr. MALONEY. Mr. Streit, in the United Nations, membership is limited to peace-loving countries. That is under the Charter, is it not?
Mr. STREIT. Yes, sir.
Mr. MALONEY. And in your union. membership would be limited to freedom-loving countries; is that right?
Mr. STREIT. It depends upon definitions. I do not particularly care for this “freedom-loving” expression. I would say “freedom-practicing."
Mr. MALONEY. We will say "freedom-practicing.” Now, we find in the United Nations that the self-interest of these nations, through their self-interest the peace-loving element is beginning to be overshadowed. I am wondering if in your union the self-interest of these various countries would not come to the fore and overshadow the freedom idea?
Mr. STREIT. If we do not make the change-over in our whole attitude on this from the state to the citizen, that will probably result, but when you make a federal union you have really shifted the base of your whole philosophy away from the state as sovereign and over to the individual citizen as sovereign. It is the self-interest of the citizen that is involved from then on, and you form your new government on that basis of the self-interest of the citizens—not the statesof the union. You do not give your Federal Government jurisdiction except where it is in the interest of the majority of the people in each of the states in the whole union. Otherwise they won't ratify its constitution. Then you have a means that tends to unite them, as history proves, more and more as time goes on.
The other principle, the present one of unlimited national sovereignty, tends to keep them divided, while they are operating as sovereign groups of men as states.
Mr. MALONEY. We find even in Congress here there are self-interests that vote by various States and how much more so would that be in an international union?
Mr. STREIT. You have that in certain things, yes, but you have other things where the issues in our federal system cut across State lines. Take my State of Montana. We have both Republican and Democratic Representatives in the Congress, and on certain very large issues that have come up in recent years our Representatives and Senators have voted opposite each other. They cross state lines. That is not possible under the other system. That is one of the things that struck me first of all in Geneva. Everything was so unreal. All the weight of the British and all of the weight of the French, and the Americans at the conferences we attended, would be put one side or the other of each issue because the government cast each nation's vote. That system tends to keep states a part. It works up the danger that you speak of to the ultimate degree. The federal system tends to break it down. Sometimes the representatives of a state will vote all together. On another issue they will not. They cross all sorts of lines under federal union, and this gradually tends to bring together the people of the union.
Mr. MALONEY. Thank you.
Mr. Vorys. Mr. Streit, you mentioned 15 countries, more or less, as your nucleus. How many of those would join this or participate in a convention?
Mr. STREIT. In my judgment, all of the ones I mentioned would.
Mr. VORYS. I am not convinced of that. Those in power, the chiefs of the state, the diplomats who run it, would be by and large against this. They like the way things are operating. It has been about 10 years since your idea was proposed so eloquently in Union Now. Is there a Union Now organization in all those 15 countries?
Mr. STREIT. There are organizations aimed at a federal union. Most of them are now talking of European union, and the reason they are not talking of it on our basis is that when the war came along it disrupted the idea. In 1939 there were Union Now organizations building up in England, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, and Sweden and Norway, I believe. The war disrupted all that. Then with the changed situation since the war the Europeans have felt—the British, first of all—that in their weak position, they could hardly propose this to us. They thought the only thing they could do was to work for a European union. Their movement has tended along that line. They have developed a strong movement under Mr. Churchill's leadership, and that of others, for a western European Union. A great many of them, I am sure, would move over behind this idea of a trans-Atlanic union of the free if we came out for it. They think we must do the proposing.
Mr. Vorys. When you say they think we must do the proposing, I talked about this with Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden, and I realize that