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world authority. They want Congress to act now on strengthening the United Nations.
We, the citizens of Middletown, Ohio, urge you to assume the world leadership which is now rightfully ours by taking the lead in the United Nations to bring about the amendments proposed in House Concurrent Resolution No. 168.
To complete our testimony, I would like to conclude by repeating to your committee my letter to you of May 10, 1948.
"Hon. CHARLES A. EATON,
Washington, D. C. "DEAR MR. EATON: I am taking the liberty of writing to you because of Middletown, Ohio's tremendous interest in the House Foreign Affairs Committee's present hearing. For 2 years now, we have worked hard for congressional recognition of a plan for strengthening United Nations. The very plan we have struggled for so long is now before Congress in the form of House Concurrent Resolution No. 168.
"We are convinced that it is our hope for peace. It is the most important single issue before the American people today. Your committee must give it your most serious and thoughtful attention.
"For 2 years we have held town meetings, given speeches in surrounding communities, appeared on over 30 radio broadcasts, urged over 50 organizations on local, State, and national levels to adopt the Middletown plan (H. R. 168). We have pointed out why time is of the essence, why a preventive war is too un-American, why appeasement is impossible with the Politburo, why an effective, strong, and democratic United Nations can, and will, keep the peace.
"One of the strongest groups that became convinced of the fairness and practicability of the Middletown plan was the American Legion. They are now spearheading the movement to bring their, and our, plan to the attention of Congress, our State Department, and the world. As recently as May 3, 1948, the executive committee of the American Legion urged the adoption of H. R. 168.
"Recently Secretary of State Marshall appeared before your committee and urged a policy of appeasement. He wants the UN to remain as presently constructed.
"If this is allowed to happen you undoubtedly will be credited with the formal burial of the last great hope of the world—a United Nations. As now formulated, the United Nations cannot possibly maintain the peace. Examples are many. Greece and Palestine are ample eloquence.
"Our State Department never has been successful when following a policy of appeasement. I thought that with the Marshall plan they had finally realized that only by a strong offensive can you take the ball from the power-crazed Politburo. Certainly the Marshall plan has been eminently successful in Italy. It will bring future successes.
"But the Marshall plan is not a peace plan. It is a plan to rehabilitate Europe, to rebuild self-sustaining economies, to preserve free institutions, to thwart Communist expansion. With Europe thus revitalized, we will be free to join with other democratic and free nations in keeping the peace through a strong and effective United Nations.
"After the State Department's one forward move, they now want to retreat and return to appeasement of Mr. Wallace and of Russia.
"I hope you will not let this happen. "Our committee believes that now is the time to push for the strengthened United Nations envisioned in H. R. 168. With our victory in Italy we have a better chance than ever of convincing Russia that her desire for world domination has been stopped, that the world does not wish to live in slavery, that she must now decide if she will join with other nations to create a period of peace, or is her goal-her only goal—a world Communist state.
"Every fair-minded nation in the world wants a United Nations as charted in H. R. 168. We know that most Americans want it, too. It is up to you and your committee to throw out, forever, a policy of appeasement. We must go forward with firmness and fairness to create sufficiently strong world authority which can prevent future aggression and preparation for aggression.
“The citizens of Middletown, Ohio, believe that there is such a plan. We strongly recommend adoption of House Concurrent Resolution 168.” Respectfully submitted.
Chairman, Middletown Citizens Committee. Mr. CHIPERFIELD. The committee will adjourn until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon at 1:30 p. m., the committee adjourned until 10 a. m. tomorrow, Friday, May 14, 1948.)
STRUCTURE OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE UNITED NATIONS
FRIDAY, MAY 14, 1948
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee convened at 10:15 a. m., in the Caucus Room, House Office Building, Hon, Charles A. Eaton (chairman) presiding.
Chairman EATON. The committee will be in order.
The chairman would like to state that all members of the House at the present time are under very great pressure, since adjournment is in the near future.
While we have announced our hearings to begin at 10 o'clock, under our practice, that means 10:20 o'clock, or 10:30 o'clock.
However, the cream of the committee is now here, and we will call on the first witness, Miss Thompson, whose testimony will become the subject of study by the committee.
STATEMENT OF MISS DOROTHY THOMPSON
Miss THOMPSON. Gentlemen, I am here to testify in behalf of congressional Resolution 163.
One curious feature of our public life in these modern times is that the masses of the people are endowed with a maximum responsibility for the acts of their governments together with a minimum of participation in those acts. Thus, in the Potsdam declaration, our Government, as a signatory, held the German people as a whole responsible for the acts of their Government which they either "loudly applauded or blindly obeyed,” overlooking the fact that not a single one of those acts was submitted to public discussion or public approval, including the initial act of war itself.
I welcome these hearings if for no other reason than that they afford an opportuniy to discuss the basic structure of the United Nations Charter on which the peoples of the whole world were invited to rest their hopes of peace and security, which invitation they so joyfully accepted.
The curious thing about this structure has been, however, the unwillingness of its authors, from the very beginning, to subject it to what Hamilton-speaking of the proposed American Constitutioncalled neither blind approbation nor blind disapprobation, but to that sedate and candid consideration which the magnitude and importance of the subject demand, and which it certainly ought to receive.
On the contrary, the United Nations Charter, in the form of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, was submitted to the American people and their representatives in a wrapped and tied package, and they were told to accept it without amendment, otherwise they would be guilty of the crime of "sabotaging peace.” Under this label and pressure, few dared to raise pertinent questions. I recall a conference called in New York as I recall it, in the winter of 1945, by the State Department, which was then headed by Mr. Stettinius. The leading publishers, editors, editorial writers, and commentators of the newspapers, reviews, journals of opinion, magazines, and major radio networks. were invited. A dais had been arranged, at which sat the Secretary of State, the Assistant Secretary, Mr. Leo Pasvolsky who is reputed to have been a leading mind in framing the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, and other Department functionaries. The audience was composed of some 200 persons, all of them in positions of considerable public influence and some of them men who had devoted lifetimes to the study of international affairs. The State Department functionaries, dividing the task between them, set forth in detail the provisions of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals. This was largely a waste of breath, for it is hardly conceivable that there was a person in the room who had not thoroughly studied the proposals, weeks before, at the time of their first publication. At the conclusion of the exposé, the audience were invited to submit questions in writing, which were then sorted out for the secretary or his assistants to answer.
Under such a procedure discussion was, of course, out of the question. The publicists were entirely on the receiving line. The State Department was doing a "selling job,” of an opinion and a policy already made and unamendable. There was no apparent wish nor inclination of the Cabinet officials to entertain doubts, suggestions, or strictures of any kind, nor even to ascertain, through these foci of the public mind, what the public mind on the proposals might be. The object of having written questions was obviously to furnish the proper answers, which the publicists could then pass on to their readers, as a promotion project. It was a weird performance, the more so because none of the functionaries seemed to find it strange are remarkable, while judging from their faces and from conversations afterward, the audience either accepted the implicit demeaning of their function, or treated it with cynical and amused contempt.
The right of the public and its elected representatives to accept or reject remains, but not the right to modify, amend, or cocreate. Thus, in creating the pattern of the future relations between nations, a matter of the most profound importance to every living soul, opinion was, from the beginning, reduced to a rubber stamp. The public-including its representatives, historians, political scientists, moral guardians, students of international affairs, practical organizers, and minds in general-were reduced to propagandists or opponents; the issue was not "What kind of peace structure?" but yes or no to the only permissible peace structure-permissible, because three administrations, without benefit of popular legislative or advisory bodies, had decided so. And the argument was, and still is: Take it—with the promise of peace, or leave it-with the certainty of war. So everyone has had to stand and be counted as for or against sin.
To be specific—although many of the questions sent up to the State Department functionaries in that conference which I now recall dealt with the absolute power which the Dumbarton Oaks proposals put in the hands of the Council, with the failure of the proposals to create any representative lawmaking body, with the odd offside position of the International Court, and with the glaring inequalities of the small powers, separate or even united, vis-à-vis the great, none of the State Department members found it necessary-or possible—to present any arguments in reason for this sort of structure. One misses on every occasion that "decent respect to the opinion of mankind” which once marked the advocacy of public policies.
In "selling” the Constitution of the United States to the people of America, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay expended eighty-odd essays of extraordinary thoroughness, exploring every alternative, explaining every reason for the general structure and its details, tracing historical precedents, exposing historical warnings, the essays altogether comprising one of the most compelling invitations to public thought, and one of the most remarkable documents of political science and philosophy. President Roosevelt, apropos the proposed world organization, remarked on several occasions that, like our Constitution, it would be amended in the process of growth. He omitted to say that the veto had been introduced, making an iron curtain against amendment, and that the American Constitution was repeatedly amended in the process of being; that it was first privately, then publicly debated point by point, for months; that encyclopedic minds of a caliber immeasurably above those of any of the functionaries that worked on the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, not matched in this country's Government since, and doubtfully anywhere else, worked over the Constitution exposing every facet to reason and realism; while small conferences of Great Power "experts" organized a blueprint for the world-in the absence of representatives of a large share of it-apparently seeking to emulate the Creator and throw it together in 7 days.
In the meanwhile, however, the people of the world have come to feel the deepest disillusionment with the power of the United Nations as presently constituted, to keep the peace or furnish any nation, large or small, with a genuine system of security. They blame this power of that power; they blame the Russians, if they are Americans, and the Americans if they are Russians. But the blame, I am afraid, lies in the basic assumptions on which the United Nations as presently constituted rests.
That basic assumption is that there is one law for the strong and another for the weak, and that the peace of the world rests on the unavowed readiness of the small and helpless to renounce war and submit to becoming the booty of the strong who will not renounce it. It begins with the wish for universal reconciliation and ends in nobody's lifting a finger as long as misfortune only touches somebody else. On this spiritual premise a new Caesarism is developing under which, for the sake of the peace and security of the great powers nobody else is to have any peace and security at all. Neither law, morality, nor the historic facts of the existence of civilizations enter into it. Whatever the Big Three or Four or Five decides is the “law," however it affects the lives and liberties of other peoples, and whatever the great powers do not agree on cannot be carried out even if an