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the proponents of these projects recognize the probability that the proposals would not be accepted by at least one of the major powers and by a number of other governments now members of the United Nations. They advocate that in this case the respective projects be put into effect among such nations as would accept them.
All of these projects appear to rest on the assumption that the present unsatisfactory state of world affairs is a result of inability on the part of the United Nations to prevent aggression; that this inability arises from the exercise of the veto power in the Security Council and the lack of a United Nations police force; that if the veto power on enforcement decisions could be removed and the United Nations provided with armed forces, aggression could be prevented; and that the principal barrier to world peace would thereby cease to exist.
The general assumption rests, I think, on an incomplete analysis of our main problems of foreign policy at this juncture and of the part which international organization can play in solving them.
The underlying problem in the immediate future is to bring about the restoration of economic, social, and political health in the world and to give to the peoples of the world a sense of security which is essential for them to carry on the task of recovery. What is needed for the achievement of a world order based on law and dedicated to peace and progress is a widespread improvement in the material and social well-being of the peoples of the world. The responsibility for such improvement will always rest primarily upon the peoples and governments themselves. In this field the United Nations, however, can play an increasingly active role.
The factor of military strength is of immediate and major importance in the present world situation but is not the element which will be paramount in long run. The emphasis often placed solely on the military aspects of world affairs does a disservice to the cause of peace. The more that present differences are talked about and treated exclusively as a military problem, the more they tend to become so.
The problems today presented to those who desire peace are not questions of structure. Nor are they problems solvable merely by new forms of organization. They require performances of obligations already undertaken, fidelity to pledges already given. Basic human frailties cannot be overcome by Charter provisions alone, for they exist in the behavior of men and governments.
The suggestion 'hat a revised United Nations, or some form of world government, should be achieved, if necessary, without those nations which would be unwilling to join, deserves special attention. Such a procedure would probably destroy the present United Nations organization. The result would be a dispersal of the community on nations. followed by the formation of rival military alliances and isolated groups of States. This result would weaken us and expose us to even greater dangers from those who seek domination of other States.
It is not changes in the form of international intercourse which we now require. It is to changes of substance that we must look for an improvement of the world situation. And it is to those changes of substance that our policy has been directed. When the substance of the world situation improves, the United Nations will be able to function with full effectiveness. Meanwhile we will continue our efforts in cooperation with other governments to improve the working of the United Nations under the Charter.
The United Nations was created after years of study and after months of difficult negotiations. It now has 58 members. It is the symbol of the aspirations of mankind. Its success is the hope of mankind. All new efforts to attain order and organization in the affairs of men require time to grow roots in the loyalties of men. . The history of our own people testifies to this necessity. Let us not in bur impatience and our fears sacrifice the hard-won gains that we now possess in the United Nations organization.
Chairman EATON. Mr. Secretary, there is one particular issue before our committee upon which we desire your views. That is the agreement entered into between our Government and the United Nations for the loan of $82,000,000 (sic, $65,000,000] to build the new building.
Secretary MARSHALL, Mr. Chairman, † think'it is highly desirable that the loan be authorized, not only on the basis of the dollar factor from a purely business point of view, but also because of the fact that we invited the United Nations to establish headquarters in this country. I think we should consider that point in reaching a decision regarding this particular financial proposal.
I would say, Mr. Chairman, that our delegate to the United Nations, Ambassador Austin, who will be here this afternoon, knows all of the details in this matter and will be prepared to answer in a less superficial fashion than I can.
Chairman EATON. Thank you.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Mr. Secretary, do I reach a proper conclusion from your remarks that you feel at the present time it would be ineffective to call a general conference of the members of the United Nations for the purpose of reviewing the present Charter under article 109?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct; yes, sir.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. I feel sure, Mr. Secretary, if you felt we could revise and improve the Charter of the United Nations, you would have arranged such a conference and would not be waiting for Congress to pass a resolution requesting you to do so. However, even though you feel that calling a conference under article 109 would not be effective, that would not preclude, would it, going ahead under article 51, article 52, and so forth, for regional arrangements that might strengthen the position within the framework of the United Nations?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir. We are constantly endeavoring to improve the procedural arrangements. Several of our proposals were given approval at the meeting of the Assembly last fall, notably the proposal for the Little Assembly. This Little Assembly is considering some of the problems discussed so frequently in the public press at present.
We are not opposed to amendment of the Charter in principle. If the proposed amendment had the following characteristics, we would be able to support it: That it genuinely strengthens and facilitates the work of the United Nations; that it is strongly supported by the Congress and the American people with full knowledge of its implications for the United States—that is a very important condition, and I repeat it: That it is strongly supported by the Congress and
the American people, with full knowledge of its implications for the United States—and that negotiation with other governments indicates that there is reasonable support for it in the United Nations.
We feel we must not disrupt the work of the United Nations nor should we at this time go beyond the existing amendment procedure.
Some changes would be useful immediately and we have already indicated that some of them might be
A change in the veto arrangement: We are working on that right now, and with the pressure of world opinion, we hope to get some adjustment there.
À change in the rules for admitting new members: That also relates to the veto question.
Minor drafting changes which would clarify the present Charter: One example is in article 27, paragraph 3. It would be useful if the last part could read, "Provide that in decisions under chapter VI and under paragraph 3 of article 52, a party to a dispute”—there insert two additional words: “or situa
tion," "shall abstain from voting.' We are continually studying the Charter and proposals for amendments because we know that changes will be desirable as our experience with the Charter grows and our work with the United Nations goes forward.
Calling for a convention to revise the Charter should be the last step and not the first step. We would first have to know what is needed and then negotiate it with others.
I would, however, like to go back to the point I have already repeated: We feel that any amendment must be strongly supported by the Congress and the American people with a full knowledge of its implications to the United States. I might say here, sir, that I think there is possibly much confusion in the public mind as to just what the proposals before us would do, and to what extent we would commit ourselves under them.
A two-thirds vote is certainly a good rule of democracy on very important questions, but when it comes to the use of the power of the United States in a military way-particularly having in mind that we possess about 40 percent of the power and influence you might say, in the world today-we must be very careful as to what the American people are committing themselves. That problem involves certain conditions of the veto.
I was interested in looking into our own Constitution to refresh my mind on the fact that we have in it a veto power which nobody ever discusses. It relates to the representation of States in the Senate. Any one State can veto a change.
By some of the proposals that have been made regarding the Security Council, we would be changing the voting power, even among the five great powers, by reducing the representation of two of them to one vote each, and three of them, including ourselves, two votes each, and reducing the representation of the smaller States to only two with one vote each.
I cannot believe that the smaller States would agree to such a change as that. I do not believe that the French and Chinese Governments would accede to that proposal, and I am reminded of our own veto power in article V of the Constitution with respect exactly to that procedure in relation to representation in the Senate.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. It is, of course, understandable that the general public would like to see the Charter of the United Nations revised and strengthened but they do not realize, I think, the difficulty of doing so under present circumstances.
Secretary MARSHALL. I think that is correct, sir. There is confusion as to what the various changes would mean and what the problems of Carrying them into effect would be.
I think the present active interest in the matter is very encouraging, but I think it is equally important that all the public should have a clear understanding of just what these various proposals would mean.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. If we were to call a conference of the United Nations for revision, which might be doomed to failure, and then we were forced into the dilemma of taking some action, we might be hurting our international relations rather than helping them, would we not?
Secretary MARSHALL. My feeling at the present time is that we should not jeopardize the integrity of the United Nations Organization. When one takes into account the number of nations involved in it—that they all did get together in agreement in drafting this Charter—it is a tremendous event in the history of the world.
When we think back into our own experience with our own Constitution, we can find parallels with present problems all the way through, particularly in the troubled state of mind after the final adoption of the Constitution, and the succeeding efforts to amend it.
There, we were dealing with only 13 States, and with people all speaking the same language. But they all had definite reactions. The slavery question dominated the thinking a great deal, as did States rights.
In this problem now before us, we have other issues but in a sense they are somewhat the same.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. Bloom. Mr. Secretary, you believe that the United Nations can function?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir.
Mr. Bloom. If there are any changes to be made in the Charter, would not the veto power apply there, too?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir; the veto power obtains in connection with changes of the Charter.
Mr. Bloom. The veto power would apply, then, to the changes in the Charter. Do you feel, then, that changes can be made?
Secretary MARSHALL. At the present time, I would say, not by recourse to that procedure. May I read the pertinent paragraph of the Charter? [Reading:]
Any alteration of the present Charter recommended by a two-thirds vote of the conference shall take effect when ratified in accordance with their respective constitutional processes by two-thirds of the Members of the United Nations, including all the permanent members of the Security Council (Art. 109, par. 2).
The right of veto is in the last phrase.
Mr. BLOOM. Then you believe at the present time it would be wrong to call a meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations, to try and find a way of amending the Charter to meet the abuses of the Charter ?
Secretary MARSHALL. I did not hear the first part of the sentence.
Mr. Bloom. I believe I understood you to say it would be inadvisable at this time to call a meeting of the General Assembly to amend the Charter to correct the abuses of the Charter.
Secretary MARSHALL. Did you say inadvisable?
Mr. Bloom. Yes; that is correct, sir. Then you referred to the Constitution of the United States?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir.
Mr. BLOOM. Was not one of the first acts of the Congress of the United States after it came into being in 1789 to adopt the first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir,
Mr. Bloom. That was in less time than we are asking for something to be done to the United Nations.
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir, but I believe the conditions are somewhat different.
Mr. BLOOM. If two-thirds of the vote of the Thirteen Statesalthough there were only 10 of the States that really approved of the Constitution—if two-thirds of the votes of the Thirteen States were to be required to amend the Constitution, or even to adopt the Constitution, it would not carry; is that right?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir.
Mr. Bloom. Then how are you going to amend the Charter of the United Nations if the veto power still remains ?
Secretary MARSHALL. I think that will come about, sir, in the development of a very different state of mind than that which is afflicting the world at the present moment.
The whole international situation is fraught with suspicion and fears, and a series of events, all of which are so disturbing that it is not probable that nations which take opposite views will moderate their points of view until there has been a more reassuring development in the world.
My own view is, and it is the view of my associates and advisers, that when we have achieved a little more of a feeling of security, when we have achieved particularly a little more economic stability in the world, these suspicions will be moderated. Gradually we will work into a back-and-forth adjustment that will lend itself, in general, to a more moderate point of view, and this would be the basis for getting together on some of the issues now under discussion.
At the present time, as I understand the situation through Ambassador Austin and Mr. Rusk here who are familiar with the various factors involved, through personal contacts with the principal representatives of the five major nations, we are the only major power which at the present time favors amendment of the Charter.
Mr. BLOOM. That is true in the case of other things, too. Is it the veto or the abuse of the veto that is objectionable?
Secretary MARSHALL. I would say, largely, the abuse of the veto. If the understanding that was given regarding the veto in San Francisco had been sincerely lived up to, we would not be in the present predicament.
Mr. Bloom. Would the Senate of the United States have approved of the Charter with the veto power not there?
Secretary MARSHALL. It is my understanding that it would not. I was not in the country at the time of the debates.