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"What peace?" Only the other day, Mr. Beardsley Ruml said that we must count on spending a full half of the national budget for armaments. Is that peace? No. It is said that if these proposals are presented, or any form of them, it will break up the United Nations. It is said the Russians will leave it.
Why should they leave it? There is nothing in these proposals that is aimed against any state in the world. They would give the Soviet Union infinitely greater security than she is going to get any other way, if security within her established frontiers is what the Soviet Union truly desires. It is said that many other states would not join in. Well, suppose they do not. Is there any reason why, taking advatage of paragraph 51 of the Charter, those nations who do wish to go on the record before themselves and mankind, as desiring to live under enforceable law should not create within the United Nations, their own fellowship of the law-abiding, open at all times to all ? Not a separate organization. Could these reforms be interpreted as an excuse for a preventive war against anyone? They could not. They precisely could not, for it is against aggression that they are aimed-whether aggression between the members or aggression against nonmembers.
Gentlemen, the world is waiting for a voice to speak, in behalf of men, women, and children, wherever they may be in this world. I can say with utmost honesty that although I detest the Soviet form of government and state, I would weep for the death of one Russian child. The protection of human life on this earth is in the hands of the United Nations, and how could any country suffer diplomatic defeat which rises to defend that life, to defend even the lives of our opponents, by proposing an enforceable system of international law against war. We suffer diplomatic defeats week after week, because we go on backing and filling, supporting a policy one week and reversing it the next, opening negotiations as we did last week, or certainly seemed to do, and slamming the door shut a week later; raising hopes and plunging the world into despair. Then we suffer defeats, in the eyes of the world. But if we raise a banner to which the just can repair, if we make doubly and trebly clear that our object is not to extend our power, but to find a substitute for power politics; not to win for ourselves, but to win for mankind; not to agitate the world, but to bring it to reason, then we need have no fear of diplomatic defeats. For those who mobilize the emotion of the ideal, which emotion slumbers in every human heart, will find allies where they least seek them.
Chairman EATON. Are there any questions? If not, the witness is excused.
(Witness excused.) Chairman EATON. The next witness will be Mr. Norman Thomas.
STATEMENT OF NORMAN THOMAS
Mr. THOMAS. I live in New York. I happen to be a Presidential nominee on the Socialist ticket but I agreed to come here before I knew that would happen and at a time when I hoped it would not happen.
I am appearing personally; that is, without specific authorization either of the Socialist Party or of the nonpartisan Post War World
It is my
Council from which, during the political campaign, I shall take leave of absence as chairman. With the major purpose of my appearance, that is, the advancement of universal disarmament under effective international control, both organizations would agree.
The party has not considered in detail, Resolution 163, which I appear to support along the lines I shall suggest.
In my statement, I shall refer to the Judd resolution. I mean the Resolution 163 and not the earlier Resolution 59.
I am concerned with the question before you less as a thing in itself than as a contribution to the international controls necessary for the end of the present enormously dangerous armament race. own conviction that the Judd Resolution 163, properly introduced and properly presented to the United Nations and to the world, would provide a valuable mechanism for ending the armament race.
When I originally prepared this statement, it was in the hope that serious and definite conversations would be undertaken between our Government and the Soviet dictatorship. That hope has been dashed. Whatever Mr. Molotov's motives, his note and his handling of it have put him before the peoples of the world in a more reasonable and more realistic light than for many months. The joy that welcomed it in Europe and in America from all parties and all sections of society was highly significant. We Americans owe it to ourselves and the world to capitalize on it. The way in which the Russian action has been received by our State Department may have some excuse in the technical points Secretary Marshall has raised and in his trying experiences with Molotov, but it is nevertheless a serious error in policy.
It is quite true that conversations should be specific on points made known to the public and that other nations should be consulted and the United Nations brought in at appropriate times. It is, however, very unconvincing and disappointing that a man capable of Mr. Marshall's proposals for European economic recovery should fall back on the technicalities for not taking advantage of the opportunity Mr. Molotov has offered plainly to state an American program for peace. Part of that program must deal with peace settlements from which the United Nations was excluded. The peoples of the world do not follow Secretary Marshall's technical explanations, and our State Department is handling Communist propaganda an unnecessary victory.
Of course, conversations as conversations are not of any use. There should be a carefully prepared and definite program which must include the end of the armament race without which any and all agreements will become dust and ashes. The news in last Sunday's papers that even discussion of disarmament was to be dropped like the Baruch plan was enormously disquieting. It is not so that crusaders of the idea upon which the hope of the world depends should order their policy. It is on the basis of convictions like these that appear today to urge favorable consideration of the Judd resolution.
It must be presented to the United Nations and within the framework of the United Nations. It should not be presented as an absolute ultimatum concerning the particular reform in the voting structure of the Security Council. There is, however, no escaping the fact that in substance the limitation of veto power is an absolute essential, not only as the United States itself has insisted, on any effective control of atomic energy, but of armaments generally. There is no more dan
gerous fallacy than the notion that the United Nations can serve peace or pave the way for ultimate democratic world government if the veto power is to be continued unchecked.
Most of the arguments against the Judd resolution are couched in terms of concern for the future of the United Nations in the assurance that the Russian dictatorship will not permit a strengthening of it. Then the opponents of the resolution give their moral case away by implying what the New York Times editorially said bluntly:
It is more than doubtful that the United States could afford to forego its own veto.
That is, we also will not accept any judgment in the service of peace which we think may go contrary to our own interest, no matter how carefully organized may be the machinery for substituting the judgment of the world for the anarchism of great powers. This attitude will scare the little nations far worse than the Judd resolution if properly presented.
With specific statements by Secretary Marshall and Mr. Austin concerning the value of maintaining the United Nations, I should agree. Nevertheless, every criticism I made of the United Nations when it was in the process of formation, and in my appearance before the Senate committee, has been justified by the event. I urged ratification of the Charter rather than rejection, and I see real values in continuing to try to make some use of a very imperfect organization.
This position is entirely consistent with a reasoned effort to improve it. Mr. Judd and his cosigners have not proposed that the United States should withdraw from the United Nations if Russia should veto suggestions for certain revisions in the Charter in the interest of world peace. I cannot see that the situation would in any way be worse within the United Nations if it were made clear that Communist intransigence, and only Communist intransigence, blocks strengthening it so that it might remove from a hungry world the desperate weight of a race in arms which can have no other end but war. The argument that an attempt to improve the United Nations, if unsuccessful, will destroy that body, is, I think, the worst condemnation of its usefulness that I have heard. It is, moreover, quite contrary to the logic and the probabilities of the case.
My own appeal is for the absolute necessity of universal disarmament down to a police level if the world is to be rid of an economic burden that makes true recovery impossible and if the minds of men are to be free from a consideration of arms which prevents fair consideration of a constructive program for peace.
Secretary Marshall insisted that the hope of the United Nations, and incidentally of world peace, lies in the America's unilateral taking of "steps necessary to bring the National Military Establishment to the minimum level to restore the balance-of-power relations required for international security.” Those words spell death and only death for all our hopes of peace and the salvation of our civilization. Who will
agree on what is, in military terms, “the minimum level necessary to restore the balance-of-power relations required for international security"!
Most of the world lives now in respect, if not in fear, of our present strength. We Americans have the monopoly as yet of atom bombs, and infinitely the strongest Navy. Already, so far as figures can be
known, we have spent a larger proportion of our national budget on arms than the Soviet Union. The military men themselves cannot agree in this country on the minimum level about which Secretary Marshall so glibly talks. In the effort to get peacetime conscription and vastly increased expenditures, advocates of this preparedness, with a few honorable exceptions, have united to create a virtual hysteria in America. They have beaten the drums about imminent war; they have proposed a policy of being firm without any analysis of how we could successfully save democracy by undertaking wars in Europe and Asia; they have refused to consider the moral and economic costs of victory; still less, how we could successfully police the vast territories of a Soviet nation beaten to its knees by the horrible means of atomic bombs and in them create democracy. Secretary Marshall's insistence that all this militaristic talk is directed to strengthening the United Nations is a preposterously unrealistic description of its effect upon public opinion in America and the world. Actually, if we were to grant all that the military are asking or contemplating for a minimum level, we should be committing ourselves by 1952 to an armament budget of 20 or 30 billion dollars or approximately the entire governmental budget for the current fiscal year.
This statement is one bit of additional evidence of the fact that neither on the basis of logic or history is there such a thing as balance in an armament race between strong nations or blocks of nations. The relatively small-scale armament races of the past never saved the peace between major powers, or guaranteed one of them victory. In order to support that race with its enormous costs, the minds of the people must be filled with fear and hate; the Military Establishment must grow ever stronger and more dominant in the control of affairs of the country. That in itself has always jeopardized democracy. The people, even in a fortunate country like the United States, must forego ħomes, hospitals, schools, a higher standard of living, in favor of breathtaking expenditures for ever more deadly means of destruction.
What we are doing here, with our comparative wealth, must be imitated not only by the Soviet Union, but by nations far poorer in population and natural resources. Right now, in every nation not forcibly disarmed after defeat, a proportion of the budget goes for military expenditures, including French and Dutch colonial wars which, to put it conservatively, cancel the benefits we American taxpayers are giving them under the excellent European recovery plan.
It is exceedingly unlikely that the Soviet dictatorship will be mad enough deliberately to risk ́a war by frontal attack on us. American opinion overwhelmingly agrees with Henry L. Stimson's statement that war in an atomic age would not result in one Rome and one Carthage, but two Carthages. New war will come, as it has come so often before, by bluffs, bluster, threats; by miscalculation; by human blunders under intolerable tensions; by incidents in the various parts of the world in which armed rivals confront each other. The kind of tensions through which we are now going, if continued indefinitely, will result in war. The act of war will be an escape from intolerable psychological strain.
One thing only will save the United Nations and make it of interim use until we are ready for a better approach to limited democratic world government. That one thing is a transfer even of conflict from
the realm of preparation for ever more deadly mass production; it is the end of the armament race; it is universal-not unilateral-disarmament down to what I have called a police level. That means the universal abolition of peacetime military conscription; the demilitarization of narrow waterways and island bases; the adoption of the principles of the Baruch plan for the international control of the development of atomic energy; the prohibition, not only of atomic bombs, but of other weapons of mass destruction; and the reduction of arms and armed forces to a level necessary to maintain the internal order and meet any quota provision for international security.
We cannot, of course, have a repetition of the horrible fiasco of the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war. We cannot rely merely on national good faith to keep agreements on disarmament. There must be inspection; there must be a capacity to judge and to act in cases of aggression, or threatened aggression, and there must be an international security force. Such a force is necessary to deal with confused conditions as they exist in the Near East and elsewhere. No international force can be safe the mobile part of which is composed of components of the military forces of rival powers; neither is an international force safe which is smaller than forces of member nations.
These are ideas that can be patiently and persuasively explained, if not to governments, then to the peoples of the world
even if ať first sight they should be suspicious of a program which our own administration has so thoroughly misunderstood. Again I say that I should not present every detail of the program as an ultimatum; I am aware that democratic procedure requires conference. Nevertheless, critics of the Culbertson plan embodied in the Judd resolution will have a harder time than some of them think to propose a better plan in the light of present-day realities.
In the same mail I got letters, one from a pacifist organization criticizing this resolution as being just some more power politics, in the way the security force was set up, and another one denouncing the resolution because it ruined American power in the world. Now these two do not absolutely answer each other, but I think the writers of both letters would do well to reexamine realistically the practical possibilities of the situation. We do not live in the ideal world we would like and it seems to me this resolution has carefully considered the practical conditions-progress toward disarmament.
The one important thing is effective agreement on ending the armament race. Only if that is assured can we get far with more constructive policies.
I share the universal fear that the Soviet dictatorship would refuse the necessary controls to an international disarmament to which it would probably assent in principle. Even this is not certain in the light of the hope that Mr. Molotov has raised. The confused peoples of the world will never believe that the Kremlin only is responsible for the approach of war unless and until a workable proposal of universal disarmament has been persuasively presented and refused by it.
It is not I, but Mr. Henry Wallace who has a patent on the approach to the common man, but I do happen to know something of public opinion in this country and it is positively dangerous, the growing bewilderment that people have as to what is our program and who is responsible for what. We can clear it up by making the sensible pro