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The American Legion believes firmly in the United Nations for the protection of liberty and happiness throughout the world. But we are convinced that it can fulfill its purpose only through the strengthening of its Charter by amendment.
We agree with those witnesses who counsel patience, but disagree with those who counsel inaction.
We thoroughly agree that, irrespective of the United Nations, the United States must maintain a firm, reliable, steady foreign policy. We are on record as urgently supporting the program for world recovery (formerly ERP) as necessary to peace and the preservation of democracy. We maintain, however, that along with this should come the strengthening of the United Nations. The two are not inconsistent but mutually necessary.
We recognize that the next months are critical, but we cannot agree that nothing shall be ventured during those months. On the contrary, an urgent situation requires more urgent remedy. The discovery of the atomic bomb cannot be undiscovered. It must be controlled, and that control will not wait. War will not wait.
We agree that the single veto, for most purposes, must be preserved to the five great powers. But we are convinced that the veto must be removed with respect to aggression and preparation for aggression. On other subjects, nations like individuals may honestly differ; but no right-minded nation can insist upon the veto in matters of aggression.
Enforcement is the key to law and order. We therefore recommend concentration upon means of enforcement, and particularly upon an amendment to relieve enforcement from the veto stoppage.
To the argument that the United States might itself wish to use the veto, we reply that a peace-loving people would never veto in matters of aggression. By surrendering this one prerogative we would gain infinitely more than we could lose, since uncontrolled international aggressors are a constant threat to American lives and happiness. In that narrow but vital sphere, all nations must sacrifice some of their rights if they wish to live. Together all of us must submit to atomic inspection, or else together face ultimate destruction.
It is argued that relinquishment of the veto could never be voted by other nations, instances being cited of refusal in minor matters. We reply that in minor matters refusal is justifiable and is no indication of refusal in such vital matters are aggressive.
Nothing which is inherently right is ever impossible. This amendment should be attempted with all earnestness. If reverses are met with at first, the attempt should be repeated. And no harm could result from failure, inasmuch as the basis is not one of national rivalry but of mutual benefit.
An honest attempt would clear the air. If any nation refused to relinquish the veto in the single case of aggression, it would condemn itself of aggressive intent. Few nations would wish this.
We wholly agree that full national defense must be maintained meanwhile, and that any limitation of armaments must be concurrent. We disagree with those who would leave the Security Council or the International Court without an international police to enforce United Nations mandates.
It is our conviction that peace cannot be created by appeasement, nor preserved by bluster. Peace is impaired whenever vacillation or political methods enter into international affairs, whether within or without the United Nations. Peace is enhanced by firmness, steadiness, and fairness. As we have advocated these in our foreign policies, we advocate them in the United Nations. The American Legion repudiates the philosophy that wars are inevitable. But time is of the essence.
Although not the subject of official Legion action, the writer sees no objection to proceeding under the Charter to effect regional or other limited international organizations under articles 51, 52, etc. Indeed, they are expressly permitted by the Charter and no amendment is required for that purpose. It should be observed, however, that the Legion has never favored alliances, although it favors cooperation.
As to the method to be pursued, the writer earnestly advocates proceeding first under article 108 to the fullest extent. Then, if that should fail, calling a conference under article 109. In such a general conference, subjects of every possible nature would be bound to arise and create confusion; whereas specific amendment under article 108 would focus the attention of the world on the crucial question.
In reply to the question, What if all these means should fail? obviously we must then go outside the Charter in conjunction with like-minded nations. However, that bridge need not be crossed at this time, and we hope may never have to be crossed. A right program is stronger without an "if." We advocate strongly the concentration of all our energies upon strengthening the organization we have, rather than turning to the new and untried.
We believe that a definite pronouncement by the Congress at this time would encourage our own people, clarify the minds of other nations, and make for world peace. This ought not to embarrass our State Department, since it would reenforce the announced policy of peace through the United Nations. Indeed, to official representatives who must be diplomatic in their expressions, this should come as a refreshing aid. At all events, the responsibility at this juncture rests with the Congress.
In conclusion, we accentuate the need of pressing for amendment with promptitude, confidence, and energy, in the faith that these efforts will not fail and that the United Nations will fulfill, under an amended Charter, its great purpose of international law and order.
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION X
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that—
(1) The United Nations Charter shall be amended so that its existing defects, demonstrated by experience, shall be removed, and the United Nations Organization shall be able to fulfill its stated mission as the principal and most effective instrument for world peace.
(2) The amendment of the United Nations Charter shall preserve the full sovereignty of member states except for acts of aggression and preparation for aggression, to be specifically defined in the Charter.
(3) The amendment of the United Nations Charter shall be undertaken and supported by the United States Government without delay, concurrently with the measures for world economic recovery already undertaken.
(4) This amendment shall be so designed that the mutual suspicion and fear now driving the world into opposite military camps shall be replaced by mutual confidence in a United Nations strong enough to guarantee any member nation, however large or small or whatever its form of government, against armed violence by any other nation.
(5) Such amendment of the United Nations Charter shall be undertaken under article 108 of the Charter, and every effort shall be made under article 108 to effectuate the specific purposes hereinafter set forth. If such amendment under article 108 should not prove possible after successive attempts, such amendment shall be sought under article 109. In the event, however, that any state possessing the power of veto should veto such amendment, the United States shall take appropriate steps to join with other like-minded states to establish an effective international organization without the participation of the abstaining state or states for the purpose of maintaining that peace under law for which the United Nations was established; such organization, however, to remain open to any abstaining state, not then engaged in aggression or preparation for aggression, on the same conditions specified for participating states.
(6) Pending such amendment, the United States may proceed under articles 51 or 52 or other appropriate provisions of the present Charter to establish with other nations a more effective organization or organizations within the scope of the United Nations.
(7) The amendment of the United Nations Charter shall contain the following specific provisions as necessary to remove the atomic cloud now hanging over the world, relieve the back-breaking load of the armament rate and, by firm action, avert a third world war and establish that peace under law without which social or economic progress is impossible, namely:
(a) Elimination of the veto power by a permanent member of the Security Council in matters of aggression or preparation for aggression, but only in such matters. Aggression shall be prohibited and defined in the Charter as an armed attack by a state, or by the citizens of a state with its acquiescence, against the recognized territory of a member state, or illegal occupation by a state of territory outside its own recognized and established borders. Preparation for aggression shall be prohibited and defined in the Charter to include the production
of atomic, biological, bacteriological, or other weapons of mass destruction, or the production of heavy armaments beyond authorized quotas, or refusal to submit to inspection.
(b) Strengthening of the International Court of Justice to have adequate power to interpret the Charter, and to enter judgments with respect to governments and individuals in specific matters dealing with aggression and preparation for aggression.
(c) Creation of specific enforcement provisions for the prevention of aggression and preparation for aggression as defined in subsection (a) hereof. In the matter of atomic weapons, this shall be in accordance with and through the adoption of the official United States proposal for inspection and control by an Atomic Development Authority. In the matter of heavy armaments, this shall include a world-wide quota-limitation of production, to be established with due regard to the strength of the United States and other permanent members of the Security Council, together with a minimum collective quota for the remaining smaller member states.
(d) Establishment of an effective world police force, to consist primarily of one active international contingent permanently in readiness, and five national contingents operating as reserves. The international contingent shall be responsible to and under the direct control of the Security Council; shall consist of thoroughly trained and disciplined volunteers recruited exclusively from citizens of member states which are not permanent members of the Security Council; and shall be equipped with the smaller nations' collective quota of heavy armament. The armed forces of the five permanent members of the Security Council shall constitute the five national contingents and such national contingents shall remain under the full sovereignty of their respective governments; except that in time of peace their effective strength shall be limited by their respective quotas of heavy armament, and except that they shall be available (subject to their constitutional processes) as reserves to the international contingent by a two-thirds vote of the Security Council in specific matters of aggression or preparation for aggression.
Nothing herein shall be taken to prohibit a member state, if actually attacked, from defending itself and increasing its forces and armament beyond the limitations herein provided for; provided, however, that it shall, upon the cessation of such attack, forthwith reduce its forces and armament to their original strength.
(8) Until such time as the foregoing provisions shall be fully put into effect, the armed forces of the United States and its weapons of every kind shall be maintained at wholly adequate levels.
COMMENTARY ON SUGGESTED RESOLUTION X, SUBMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF HON. WALTER H. JUDD BY ANSON T. MCCOOK
Resolution X is submitted with reluctance and solely for purposes of analysis by the committee. It follows House Concurrent Resolution 163 in structure and very largely in content, at the same time taking into consideration House Concurrent Resolution 59. It departs from House Concurrent Resolution 163 as noted below:
Sections (1), (2) and (4) of X are substantially identical with the same numbers of House Concurrent Resolution 163. The word "amend" is substituted for "revised", inasmuch as we recommend making use of the specific power of amendment which is provided for in the Charter. The substitution of "preparation for aggression" for "armament for aggression", is suggested as broader.
In section (3) of House Concurrent Resolution 163 the last four lines are changed so as to express coordination with the ERP (which the Legion was the first to endorse) but to avoid having this vital subject of amending the Charter tied to something outside the Charter.
Section (5) of House Concurrent Resolution 163 is divided into two sections (5 and 6) in X. Here is the first substantial variance between the two, since X specifically provides that amendment shall be undertaken under article 108 of the Charter, and vigorously pressed. Only if that should fail would amendment under article 109 be attempted as provided in House Concurrent Resolution 59. Then if amendment were completely vetoed (both under 108 and 109), but only in that event, would the United States be free to join in forming a new world organization, or semiworld organization to replace the United Nations. However, I feel so strongly that such a new organization should be a last resort that I incline to omit mention of even the possibility of this. That is, I would prefer at
this stage to omit the last nine lines of my (5) unless for the tactical purpose of warning recalcitrants.
Meanwhile, and irrespective of this, the United States has the right to join with other like-minded states under article 51, 52, etc., to form regional or defense or other special organizations, as already contemplated in the Charter even though hedged about with limitations. This is covered by (6) of X.
Let me accentuate that these limited alternatives already exist under, and therefore require no amendment of, the Charter. Hence their segregation into a separate paragraph. Logically, therefore, they would not be part of any amendment. Nor are they of major importance as compared with obviating the veto. Actually, that part of old 5 (new 6) could be omitted if so desired.
In short, the Legion believes that amendment to achieve law and order is the key to peace, while articles 51 and 52 of the Charter are much more limited, being in essence defense pacts rather than peace pacts. The words "for mutual defense” are omitted for that reason.
Section (6) of House Concurrent Resolution 163 is absorbed in "X" (5).
The first part of section (7) remains substantially the same, but there are variances in the lettered subsections.
Subsection (a) of X omits the words "and admission to membership in the United Nations," since it seems wise to concentate on aggression and preparation for aggression, which are essential to peace. The admission of new members is important, but nations could differ as to that without affecting peace. Because of the atomic bomb and the imminent danger of war, I respectfully urge that the "must" of your legislation should relate to peace. Aggression touches the conscience of the world, whereas honest difference of opinion may exist elsewhere.
There are omitted from subsection (a) the detailed provisions for 10 members of the Security Council. The Legion in 1946 included this as a "suggested detail,” not as a definite resolve, and I question the advisability of being so specific in the legislation itself. I would definitely recommend, however, that decisions on aggression and like matters (after the removal of the veto) be made by a twothirds vote, which would mean 7 out of 10, or 6 out of the present 9; or even three-fourths, which would be 8 of 10, 7 of 9.
In House Concurrent Resolution 163 the unnumbered paragraph under (a) is made a new subsection because of its importance.
(e) of X is similar to (b) of House Concurrent Resolution 163. It is the same as regards the vital United States proposal for an Atomic Development Authority. It attempts, however, to be more elastic as to details of the collective quotas, as above in (a). Here again the Legion's resolution of 1946 mentioned these same quotas as "suggested details."
(d) of X is similar to (c) of House Concurrent Resolution 163, except that details are omitted for purposes of elasticity. And an unnumbered paragraph is added to X, although not of essential importance.
Section (8) is the same in both.
(The following statement has been submitted by Hon. Warren R. Austin :)
UNITED NATIONS-DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION, RESEARCH SECTION
STRUCTURE OF THE UNITED NATIONS (FIRST REVISION), APRIL 1, 1948
The original members of the United Nations are those which participated in the United Nations Conference on International Organization at San Francisco or had previously signed the United Nations declaration of January 1, 1942, and which signed and ratified the Charter.