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Notes of interest
The Middletown Citizens Committee has 1,600 names on its active mailing list.
We have had correspondence with communities in all 48 States, over 450 cities and 18 foreign countries which include: Austria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, France, Venezuela, England, Germany, Hawaii, Holland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, South Africa.
Members of the speakers' bureau of the Middletown Citizens Committee have made approximately 300 speeches.
Mr. EMERSON. From the community the resolutions approving this solution spread to county and State organizations. Eighteen of these in Ohio and Kentucky are listed.
Through these organizations, interest in the plan and approval of it went on to the national level in the case of the American Legion, the National Order of AHEPA-American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association—the National Association of Fire Fighters, and the National Association of Foremen.
The Middletown Citizen's Committee corresponds with 1,600 people in communities in all of the 48 States. We are doing all we can to help these people organize town meetings in their communities.
Our committee corresponds with individuals in 18 different foreign countries such as Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, New Zealand, Mexico, and so forth. All these people indicate that their prayers are dedicated to the adoption of the Middletown plan.
The Middletown plan has received much national acceptance and acclaim. Some of these include articles in the Commonweal, June 1946; the Christian Science Monitor, October 5, 1946; Reader's Digest, November 1946; Ohio Magazine, November 1946; the Civitan, January 1947; N. E. A. (Journal of National Education Association), April 1947; Magazine Digest, September 1947; Inside U. S. A., by John Gunther, the Kiwanis Magazine, November 1947; and syndicated articles by Thomas L. Stokes, Dorothy Thompson, Peter Edson, and Jack Ramey.
Important radio appearances have included the Herald Tribune Forum, World Front, In My Opinion, Canal Days, and all four of our Town Meetings.
All of these things are not just testimony to our activity, the important thing is that the American public want a definite plan for strengthening the United Nations and they find in this plan as submitted in Resolution 168, the solution they crave.
When we started this crusade in Middletown, 2 years ago, we were a small voice in the wilderness. Today, aided by the soundness of the solution and the most invaluable assistance of Messrs, Molotov, Vishynski, and Gromyko, we are one small part of a vast legion of Americans who want action now and will support firm action now.
We are grateful to the 14 Representatives and 18 Senators who introduced into Congress House Concurrent Resolution 168 and Senate, Concurrent Resolution 50.
But, gentlemen, this wave of American public opinion so necessary to our national leaders if they are to retain the essential initiative in this present struggle for the peace can fade more rapidly than
We are the most amiable, unsuspicious, and friendly people on earth. If the Kremlin crowd spread a little insincere, soft-soap talk about wanting peace, millions of our people will immediately relax and say, “Praise be. It's all over now, we won't need the draft or the big Air Force, we can all be friends again.” We have seen an example of this tendency in the last few days. That, as you gentlemen know, will be the truly dangerous time.
The test, and the only test of value for any solution is, “Will it stop their making of the bomb?"
We are confident that Resolution 168 will do that necessary thing and if adopted and carried forward promptly and with manifest determination, will do so without hostilities. We know that public opinion is behind it and we know no alternative with such popular support. In further support of this view, I am attaching a copy of letter written to Chairman Eaton of this committee by Mr. William Verity, chairman of the Middletown Citizen's Committee. This was written in reply to an inquiry from Chairman Eaton and covers the growth of the Middletown plan in greater detail than outlined above.
The people's desire to act before it is too late is the really inspiring thing we learned, and I hope that therein lies some help we can bring to your committee.
We earnestly urge your favorable action on Resolution 163 or 168. Chairman EATON. We are most grateful to you for bringing us the word of this most American and significant movement. Are there any questions?
Mr. VorYS. Mr. Emerson, as you know, my brother started in business in Middletown in the great company with which you are associated, and I therefore am particularly proud that this great movement stems from Middletown and from my State of Ohio.
Thank you for your presentation.
Mr. Fulton. Suppose we do get some system set up with Russia on handling the atomic bomb, do you believe that the people who would agree on Russia's behalf, can be depended upon to go ahead with what they agreed to, or could they just get secrets from us on the bomb and abrogate any treaty or agreement we might make?
Mr. EMERSON. If the suggestions of the resolution is followed through, Mr. Fulton, before any such agreement is arrived at, the mechanism for inspection will be set up, and the mechanism for policing will be set up, so that once they agree and put into operation the plan We contemplate, we would have penetrated the “iron curtain” and it would be too late for them to pull back.
Mr. Fulton. Do you think they would agree in the first place if they felt the result would be we in the United States and the democracies would penetrate the "iron curtain” they themselves have set up?
Mr. ÉMERSON. Under this plan, of course, inspection is a very fundamental part.
Mr. FULTON. Do you think they would agree in the first place? What chance is there of that.
Mr. EMERSON. I think there is every chance of it, but whether it would be this group or another group that I could not say, but I think if we do a job, which we Americans should be able to do, of ingenious and imaginative publicity, let us say, on this plan for peace, it will penetrate the “iron curtain" in many ways and may actuate the potential opposition which exists there now, to insure a carrying out of any arrangements that the leaders, whoever they are at that time, make in behalf of the U.S. S. R.
Mr. FULTON. You feel then the effort is worth the chance of success? It is worth while to put out the effort ?
Mr. EMERSON. Very definitely, and I feel it is so important that we begin now to regain again the initiative, and to retain it.
Mr. FULTON. Thank you.
Chairman Eaton. Thank you Mr. Emerson, and good luck to Middletown. I lived in Ohio for a long time and I guess I have spoken in every town of importance in it.
Mr. EMERSON. I hope you will be back very soon, Mr. Chairman. Chairman EATON. Thank you.
The committee will now adjourn, to meet Tuesday morning at 10:30 in our committee room in executive session.
(The following statements have been submitted for inclusion in the record :) TESTIMONY OF MIDDLETOWN CITIZENS COMMITTEE, MIDDLETOWN, OHIO
MAY 13, 1948. Hon. CHARLES A. EATON, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee,
Washington, D. C. SIR: As requested by your telegram of May 12, 1948, the Middletown Citizens Committee is pleased to offer the following testimony in favor of House Concurrent Resolution 168 which is now before your committee. We are grateful of having the opportunity to present the feelings of the citizens of Middletown, Ohio, toward a strengthened United Nations.
The thoughts of Middletown, Ohio, citizens are best described in their actions for the past 2 years. The record speaks for itself.
Two years ago we were worried because peace had not come. Though the war was over, international suspicion and distrust remained. We felt that a third world war was inevitable unless courageous and immediate action was taken by the American people to guide our destiny down the road of peace.
We decided that if a democracy is to work, then all of us must do our share of the working, thinking and persuading. To quote from our publication Crossroads Middletown:
“We, the people, are the Government. We pay the taxes, make the laws, fight the wars. We mustered all the strength and determination at our command to fight for victory in World War II. We believe that we must fight now for peace with this same strength and determination. Then and only then will peace become a reality.
“For almost a year after VJ-day we in Middletown hoped that 'they' would find a solution to the problems of peace. Then we slowly began to realize that time was short, that we could not afford to sit on our front porches and watch the world go round. We awoke to the fact that we could no longer 'let George do it.' This was our problem. It was up to us to take concrete action to bring about this peace for which we had fought.
“After much study and discussion we agreed that the only hope for a workable and permanent peace lay in some type of world organization that organization was already in existence--the United Nations.
"To date the UN has proved itself ineffective. But it was our belief that the surest, most immediate, and practical solution to the problem lay in finding a way to make it work. We studied many theories and proposals and came upon a plan which we believe is the answer. It is practical, not theoretical. It presents à concrete and workable method of making the UN an effective organization capable of maintaining peace-it is the quota-force plan.”
The quota-force plan decided upon by the citizens of Middletown is today basically the same plan for strengthening the United Nations that is before your committee in the form of House Concurrent Resolution 168. The citizens of Middletown still believe that this plan provides the promptest and soundest road to peace. We believe that if Resolution 168 is adopted, the United Nations will become the instrument for peace which has been the hope of all Americans since the Charter was first signed in 1945. We are equally convinced that if the Charter is not amended and strengthened soon, the people of America will lose faith in its ability to settle any problem, let alone stop aggressive warfare.
We have felt so keenly about this problem that we have done all in our power to bring the proposals of the Middletown plan (H. Con. Res. 168) before America and the world.
From the start we considered four alternatives. First, we can continue to drift into war by remaining unprepared in mind or in armaments. Section, we can play power politics which will lead, as in the past, to a world armament race. Third, we can use o atomic bombs to force an American peace of the world; and fourth, we can strengthen the United Nations and thereby make it an effective organization capable of keeping the peace.
Finding that the fourth alternative was unanimously adopted by our group, we decided to hold a town meeting in Middletown to see how the citizens of Middletown felt about it.
At our first town meeting on June 13, 1946, we offered the four alternatives to the people of Middletown. As a body, the 500 people present chose a strengthened United Nations.
But more important, the people attending this first town meeting showed such tremendous interest in international affairs and the United Nations that a committee was appointed on the spot to study proposals for strengthening the United Nations and to report back at an early date to the citizens of Middletown.
For another 6 weeks we studied many proposals. But none were so sound or complete or so immune to attack at the quota-force plan.
On July 11, 1946, we held our second town meeting. Over 1,500 people crowded into a hall with a capacity of 1,200 to debate the pros and cons of our committee's proposals.
After 3 hours devoted to talking and of questions and answers, the vote was taken. The citizens of Middletown wholeheartedly and enthusiastically endorsed the Middletown plan. Not only did they vote, they stayed on to sign resolutions endorsing the plan. These resolutions with over 1,000 signatures were sent to Congress.
But Middletown did not stop there. We realized that before Congress would or could act thousands of Middletowns would have to be heard from. The very night of our second town meeting our committee dedicated itself to the task of spreading our plan throughout America.
Reader's Digest picked up our story. From letters from their article on the Middletown movement we obtained a mailing list in the thousands. Our first publication, Crossroads Middletown, was sent to 25,000 people.
Soon we were so busy on the Middletown movement that all of our jobs suffered. Our chairman at that time, George V. Hooks, took a year's leave of absence from his work so that he could guide the movement properly. All of Middletown cooperated in every way.
Our committee organized town meetings all over Ohio and Kentucky. We made speeches whenever possible. We accepted all requests for radio appearances.
And, strangely enough, we found that wherever we went we found the same conditions. People were worried, scared. They were afraid of another war and of atom bombs. When they heard our plan they were usually just lukewarm to it . But when they would argue about its provisions they would become convinced of its soundness, effectiveness, and practicability. Everywhere we went we gathered more and more support.
Soon the citizens of Greensville, Ohio, adopted the Middletown plan, then Xenia, Ohio, and Glendale, Ohio.
Organizations of all types became interested, then enthusiastic, then eager to become a part of this movement.
Today 53 local organizations have adopted the plan. They have convinced their State and national affiliations to adopt this plan as part of their foreign relations or international program.
You might be interested in some of these State groups. The Ohio and Kansas departments of the American Legion ; the Ohio Rotary Club; the Ohio State Legislature; the Ohio Kiwanis Clubs; the Kentucky and Ohio State Federation of Labor (AFL) ; the clergy of diocese of southern Ohio; the executive board, Federation of Women's Clubs of Ohio.
On the national level : The American Legion; the national order of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association), National Association of Fire Fighters (AFL), National Association of Foremen.
The Middletown Citizens Committee corresponds with 1,600 people in communities in all of the 48 States. We are doing all we can to help these people organize town meetings in their communities.
Our committee corresponds with individuals in 18 different foreign countries such as Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, New Zealand, Mexico, etc. All these people indicate that their prayers are dedicated to the adoption of the Middletown plan.
Members of our speaker's bureau have given over 300 speeches-all of these at their own expense. The citizens of Middletown have contributed all the money collected which has been needed to carry on the activities of the Middletown committee.
The Middletown plan has received much national acceptance and acclaim. Some of these include articles in the Commonweal, June 1946; the Christian Science Monitor, October 5, 1946; Reader's Digest, November 1946; Ohio Magazine, November 1946; the Civitan, January 1947; NEA (Journal of National Education Association), April 1947; Magazine Digest, September 1947; Inside U. S. A., by John Gunther; the Kiwanis magazine, November 1947; and syndicated articles by Thomas L. Stokes, Dorothy Thompson, Peter Edson, and Jack Ramey.
Important radio appearances bave included : The Herald Tribune Forum, World Front, In My Opinion, Canal Days, and all four of our town meetings.
All of these things are merely testimony of our activity. The important thing is that at each of our town meetings the people adopted the Middletown plan and urged Congress to adopt its principles.
We are naturally very gratified to feel that perhaps our committee has helped to bring to the attention of the American people the importance of immediately strengthening the United Nations. We are grateful to the 14 Representatives and 16 Senators who introduced into Congress House Concurrent Resolution 168 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 50.
We believe that all our work will not have been in vain if these resolutions now receive favorable action by your committee,
We believe just as strongly today, as ever, that the future of America, the acceptance of the United Nations by the American people, the prevention of World War III, depend upon the immediate strengthening of the United Nations as provided in House Concurrent Resolution 168.
These provisions provide the Christian approach to peace for it is a fair plan to all nations. It gives the smaller nations of the world for the first time, a strong united voice.
By limiting the vote only in matters of aggression or preparation for aggression, there is established an effective limited world authority able to act by majority vote to prevent aggression or preparation for aggression. Aggression is well defined as is preparation for aggression. It means that trouble can be detected and stopped at its earliest stages.
Such veto limitation also means that the veto, for the time being, will be retained in all other matters, such as tariffs or immigration laws.
The second provision sets up armament quotas which divide satisfactorily the armed power of the world. These quotas will be set by the Security Council. They will be just as satisfactory in times of disarmament as they would be now, if only the plan were in action.
The United States proposal for an atomic development authority would alleviate the terrible strain of atomic war which now hangs over the scalps of all peoples.