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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 line up: 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 apart. 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
chiefs of state and their representatives have a certain diplomatic shyness about bringing it up. That should not be true among free peoples in these 15 countries. I do not want to delay the committee, but if the committee would consent I would be very happy if you could add a postscript or an adjunct to your statement here, for insertion, a statement that would show what support this proposal had in the 15 countries that you mentioned.
Mr. STREIT. I would be glad to do that. I would want to explain that the best information I have on that is the kind I could give you personally, but I would not feel free to state publicly. I know a man that we both know, for example, who I saw quite recently, I asked him that question because one of your fellow Congressmen had asked it of me. He answered it in the way I have just answered. He said, “Don't fool yourself. There is no question about it. As things now stand there is not a single one of these European countries that would hesitate for a moment to come to it, though some people in them might not like it."
Mr. MALONEY. Will you yield?
Mr. MALONEY. I was wondering whether the union you are talking about in Europe is the type of union you are advocating here, or is it a looser proposition with a definite nationalist angle?
Mr. STREIT. That is one of the things that is not clear in Mr. Churchill's statement. There were various proposals that were put before the recent meeting in Holland. Some of them were aiming at the kind of a federation I have in mind, though without the accent on freedom to the degree I give. They would invite everybody in Europe. Mr. Churchill has left it rather open as to whether he means a council of states or a real union, and whether the British are going to be in or out of that union. In his statement he spoke of the British and their close ties to Europe, and also of their close ties to the United States. I think he is keeping a liquid position.
Mr. MALONEY. It is more of an economic union?
Mr. Judd. Both General Marshall and Mr. Dulles this morning spoke with consideable vigor of their apprehension about certain nations which neither of them cared to mention which allegedly would be put in a bad spot by this proposed action and would find it difficult to choose sides. Now you say all of them would come along. On what is your judgment based? Do you think they were talking about any of the same states that
include? Mr. STREIT. I should like to make a modification of what I said. The two states most doubtful in my list I believe would be Switzerland and Sweden. I mean their reception of the invitation would be doubtful. They might come. I do not know. They might come as observers. The Swiss have their background of neutrality to such a high degree. I asked a Swiss friend of mine, a newspaper correspondent. I brought out the proposal in general and then in a more concrete way. At first he said, "I think we would certainly send observers.” When I asked him if we invited them in this way, this particular way that I have described, he said, "I think in that case we would send a full delegation.”
I do not know about Sweden, but judging from their position being so close to Soviet Russia, that country might hesitate because of that.
Mr. Vores. I thought you might have such a list, and I did not want to burden the committee or detain them at this late time. A secret or confidential statement of statesmen would be a frail reason for us to lean on in suggesting official action which, as I say, I feel confident would meet not with enthusiasm but with resistance by those who are enamored of the diplomatic way of life in handling things in secret at the direction of the chief of state. Therefore, to have any chance at all it would have to have prompt support and response from many, many citizens unconnected with Government all over the place. If you had a list of persons or organizations I felt that might possibly be significant and helpful.
Mr. STREIT. I will do the best I can, Mr. Vorys, with the qualification I stated. Such a list would not be a major factor in my own calculations in judging the responsiveness of the people over there.
Mr. VORYS. You could, of course, add any statement or estimate you wish, but something concrete like that would, I think, be helpful.
(The information referred to is as follows:)
ANNEX TO MR. STREIT'S TESTIMONY
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 19, 1948. To answer Mr. Vorys adequately would take much more time and more space than I understand the committee would wish. On reason is this: My 20 years' experience as a newspaper correspondent convinced me, before Union Now was pub, ished, that (1) the United States was the key country for the success of this proposal; and (2) the people of the European democracies were so inclined to expect and to fear further United States isolationism that most of them would respond with alacrity to an invitation from the United States to meet with its delegates in the proposed constitutional convention; and (3) that they and the other democracies were in such need of the good will and support of the American people that their governments could not possibly afford to refuse to attend such a convention.
Consequently, since Union Now appeared in 1939, I have spent all my time seeking to educate American opinion on the need of thus extending our Federal principles to the other experienced democracies. Not having the means of doing nearly enough here at home, I have concentrated on the United States—with the exception of a few speaking trips to Canada at the invitation of Canadians—and have not kept in close and regular touch with the development of the idea abroad.
It seems to me significant that its great growth there has been so spontaneous and prompt, beginning with the publication of the British, French, and Swedish editions of Union Now in 1939, without our stimulating it financially or by sending speakers to promote it abroad. The response confirmed me in the view that if we did our part well enough, we could be sure that the other democracies would come to the convention. Consequently, I have concentrated on the home task, and it would take some time for us to ascertain adequately and accurately just what the situation is abroad.
I should point out, too, that leaders in the other democracies have often told me that, much as the preferred an Atlantic union with us, they felt increasingly since the war that their countries were in too weak a position vis-a-vis us for their governments to take the initiative in urging union. Consequently, pending United States leadership, they have tended to work for European union, or for world federal union, or for other ideas the thought would help swing their countries behind an Atlantic union of democracies whenever the United States proposed it. This also left them some alternative if, as many of them feared, the United States should fail to convoke a federal convention in good time.
European and particularly British statesmen have for many years leaned backward to avoid giving the impression that they were intervening in what we might consider a domestic issue. Our policy toward the League made them especially cautious in their direct contacts with Members of Congress or diplomatic representatives, lest by appearing to nudge our Government they defeat their own desires. I found this attitude prevalent at Geneva ; it is also at work regarding the federal union idea. Many British and European leaders ap