Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

race, and clime in the 50 nations which are represented in its membership

We have eagerly looked forward to the day when the races of all mankind should see that wars lead to nothing, that all men are brothers with common interest, common aspirations, and that killing one another with ever more and more horrible weapons—weapons that daily destroy the peaceful noncombatant as well as the soldier in the fieldsett les nothing, accomplishes nothing, and leads us ever further and further from our goal.

We are glad that 50 nations were able to sit together around a council table and arrive at some mutual agreement for the purpose of outlawing wars and substituting for them the peaceful decisions of arbitration or of resort to an international court. We recall that the internal feuding between neighbors of medieval times was finally absolutely abolished when men were persuaded to take their disputes to the courts instead of resorting to arms. We believe that through some such process the peaceful settlement of national problems and national jealousies and distrusts and rivalries must be brought about. We feel that this Charter accomplishes something in keeping open at all times the doors of a court of justice to which all may resort.

We are glad that fundamental human rights and freedoms have been recognized. We should have been happier had they been more clearly defined in the terms so familiar to our own ears in this great land of freedom, as freedom of speech, of the press, of self-government, and, above all, of religious belief.

We recognize that many compromises have been considered necessary in order to bring about a meeting of minds. We should have been happier, had the Charter savored less of the elements of balance of power, in which undue recognition is given the stronger elements over the weaker. We take issue with those who hold that an unimaginative "realism" is always the soundest basis on which to build human affairs. We recall that our continent was discovered by a mad dreamer, hooted at in the streets of Genoa because he believed that the world was round. The realists of his generation knew that it was flat. We recall that it was settled by persons who were generally considered fanatics by their contemporaries because they preferred freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience amid the dangers and discomforts of a wilderness to the conveniences of European civilization—the Huguenots in Florida, the Pilgrims and Puritans in New England, the Friends and Moravians in Pennsylvania, and the Catholics in Maryland.

We recall that our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were written by a handful of mad dreamers who had the temerity to defy the might of one of the most powerful nations of Europe, and who won a war on empty stomachs, in rags, and on bleeding feet. We recall that it was a dreamer-an uncouth backwoodsman from the prairies of Illinois who held our Nation together through the dark days of 1861-65. And that the man whose spirit has been summoned from his grave to bring about the adoption of this Charter today was an “impractical" college professor, and later college president, whose own charter of international human liberties was rejected by the realists of his day.

We must respectfully persist in believing that the future is for those who dare place what is right before what is expedient.

We are also deeply regretful that it seemed wise to those who had the authority and the responsibility for the making of this Charter in their hands, to ignore one of the most deadly menaces to mankind, and in our humble judgment, to the future peace of the world, by a tragic omission—the omission to give to this new international body that power to supervise international agreements regarding narcotic drugs which was given to the League of Nations.

However, as the President has said, we have only this Charter to accept or reject.

We feel that it would be most undesirable to close any door through which the nations of mankind might reach toward a better understanding of one another, and might find a means of arriving at a peaceful settlement of their disputes.

We rejoice that the Charter is susceptible of amendment, and we hope the means of amendment will be taken advantage of as soon as possible.

This is not in my prepared statement, Mr. Chairman, but I would like to add my own words very earnestly to Miss Vernon's plea that the process of amendment might be made easier and that we might not freeze perpetually an organization which can, by the process of change in human events, become entirely unwieldy and not adjusted to the needs of the coming day.

We recommend to vou the adoption of this Charter.
The CHAIRMAN. With reservations, or without them?

Miss SMART. I believe it might be desirable to have a reservation changing the form of amendment.

The CHAIRMAN. The other countries would have to agree, and they probably would not agree to it.

Miss SMART. But I still feel that it is an essential element.

The CHAIRMAN. We are very glad to have your testimony. As I understand it, you represent the Woman's Christian Temperance Union nationally, and they are for the Charter?

Miss SMART. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Is Rabbi James A. Wax here?
Rabbi Wax. Present, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. You may give your name, address, and whom you represent, for the benefit of the record.

STATEMENT BY RABBI JAMES A. WAX, SECRETARY OF THE COMMISSION ON JUSTICE AND PEACE OF THE CENTRAL CONFERENCE OF AMERICAN RABBIS

Rabbi Wax. I am Rabbi James A. Wax, secretary of the commission on justice and peace of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

It is our privilege to present to the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this statement in support of immediate ratification by the Senate of the United States of the Charter of the United Nations Organization, on behalf of the 530 members of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the oldest rabbinical association in America and the largest in 'the world, over 160 of whose members are now serving as chaplains in the armed forces of our country.

Out of the cardinal doctrine of Judaism, the belief in one God, who is the Creator and Father of all nations and peoples, has come the inevitable corollary of the unity and the brotherhood of man. God regards all men and peoples as equal, and men, too, must so regard them. As God rules men and nations in love and justice, so also should love and justice prevail between nation and nation. Because of these beliefs about God and man, Judaism was the first of the great religions to emphasize the hope of man for peace and the duty to prevent wars, as expressed in the classic and hallowed words of the prophet, Isaiah:

And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war any more.

-Isaiah II, verse 4. This ideal was frequently restated by the prophets of Israel in the Bible, reechoed by the sages in the pages of the Talmud, and reformulated in the writings of the rabbis throughout the ages. We American rabbis, inspired by the teachings of God, by the peace traditions of our faith, and by first-hand knowledge of the devastation and suffering, brutality, and savagery that war inevitably brings, are anxious to do all that is within our power, in cooperation with all men of good will, to avert war and to make the blessings of peace available to all. The records of our conference indicate the conscientious and careful studies of peace that we have made in the past, and our labors in American communities testify to the devoted support that we have given to many movements seeking to outlaw war.

We believe that nations, like individuals, must recognize the sovereignty of God and must submit to His moral law. Cooperation between nations is a Divine mandate. The ethical principles of the duties and obligations of the strong to the weak, accepted by the civilized individual, must be accepted as well by the civilized nation. The honoring of covenants, the recognition of the rights of all nations, the avoidance of war, and the establishment and maintenance of peace must become part of the accepted code of nations. The integrity of nations must be so cherished and prized that guarding a nation's honor will be maintaining its loyalty to moral and spiritual principles.

Because of these time-honored, God-given ideals, we hail the framing and signing by the representatives of 50 nations in San Francisco of the United Nations Charter as a great step forward in the promotion of international cooperation, the prevention of war and maintenance of peace, and urge its speedy ratification by the Senate of the United States.

We note with appreciation that the nations whose representatives have signed the Charter have pledged themselves not to wage aggressive wars, to unite to prevent aggresison, to eliminate social and economic injustices which breed wars, and to safeguard the inalienable rights of men.

We are aware that the new Charter does not measure up in full to the high moral goals of our faith, the federation of the nations of the world, but we recognize that compromise cannot be avoided when 50 nations of different historical traditions and political and economic backgrounds plan together, when age-old rivalries and suspicions have not been fully allayed, and when first steps in international organization are taken. The United Nations Charter is an excellent beginning toward the goal of the world peace, advocated first by the prophets of Israel, endorsed and championed by all the great religious teachers of mankind, and feverently prayed for by the masses of men. Amendments will be possible to overcome its limitations and to widen its scope. To withhold support of this Charter because of its shortcomings, all of which can be corrected in the future, would be to betray the hopes of mankind.

We recognize, too, that a political instrument by itself cannot secure world peace. Wars are caused in part by social and economic maladjustments. The unjust and unequal distribution of the resources of the world, given to all men by God, the humiliation of races by exploitation and by assertions of inferiority that have foundation neither in history nor in science and are sanctioned by neither religion nor morality, create antagonisms which lead to armed conflict. We welcome the Commission of the United Nations Organization which will dedicate its energy to social and economic changes so that ultimately world peace may rest on world justice. Especially we citizens of the United States, because of our strength in the economy of nations, must be sensitive to the economic and social causes of war and must be prepared to set a sacrificial example in striving to eliminate them.

International political machinery of itself, however well devised, will fail to secure peace. It must rest basically on the good will and moral discipline of every man, woman, and child. The peoples of the world, as individuals, in the routine task of life and in the facing of international and domestic issues, must undergird the world Charter by continuous and every-day evidence of that good will so essential to peace among nations. Religious and educational leaders have a grave responsibility to cultivate among their peoples the moral will to peace and to assert resolution and high sacrifice. Ministers, priests, rabbis, and other teachers have the sacred task of fostering in every man a loyalty to humanity as strong as his loyalty to God.

We rejoice also that in the world Charter there is provision for the creation of a commission on human rights and that these rights are referred to in its preamble. Basic to the belief of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man is the recognition of these rights. We trust that through the agency of the United Nations Charter these will be applied to and enforced for all men, so that speedily every human being will enjoy these rights which are his because he is a child of God. When that is realized, all men will truly live as brothers and will heed the command of the Torah, God's word, "Love thy neighbor as theyself.” Then, too, the goal of the prophet, Micah, will be near, “But they shall sit every man under his vine and his fig tree; and none will make them afraid."

Because of the promise of peace and international cooperation that the United Nations Charter will bring immediately, because of the horrible sacrifices and devastation of war which all good men seek to avoid, because of the promise of the ultimate establishment of the Kingdom of God that we see in it, we American rabbis, speaking for ourselves and for the men and women whom we serve and lead, plead for the speedy ratification by the Senate of the United States of the United Nations Charter. We are confident that the blessings of God

will rest upon all men who participate in speedily making this Charter the accepted law of nations.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Rabbi Wax. We will give your testimony our best consideration.

Mrs. Mowrer will be the next speaker.

STATEMENT OF MRS. LILLIAN T. MOWRER, CHAIRMAN, DISTRICT

OF COLUMBIA CHAPTER, WOMEN'S ACTION COMMITTEE FOR VICTORY AND LASTING PEACE

The CHAIRMAN. Please give your name and residence, and state whom you represent.

Mrs. MoWRER. I am Mrs. Edgar Mowrer, chairman of the Washington Chapter of the Women's Action Committee for Victory and Lasting Peace, a national organization.

Affiliated with our organization are the following organizations: National Board of the Young Women's Christian Association, General Federation of Women's Clubs, National Council of Jewish Women, Women's Division of the American Jewish Congress, National Women's Trade Union League, Girls Friendly Society, National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Neddlework Guild, Mills College Alumnae.

As one of the 42 national organizations invited by the State Department to send a delegate to San Francisco, thé Women's Action Committee for Victory and Lasting Peace has followed the United Nations Charter closely. Our organization's representatives watched with confidence and respect the contributions made by each member of the United States delegation. The Women's Action Committee stands 100 percent behind the United Nations Charter. The Charter was created in the spirit of cooperation. This country's delegation gave outstanding leadership in sustaining that spirit. We are confident that the American people are eager to accept the Charter so that the United States may assume its responsibilities under the Charter promptly and with vision.

The Women's Action Committee supports this Charter not merely because we feel it is the one bulwark which exists between our civilization and future wars but because we consider it to be an outstanding document; an instrument of peace and progress forged through the combined efforts of 50 nations. In the very process of producing the Charter, these nations have already begun to live the life of community cooperation which is at the heart of the Charter.

The Charter in the truest sense of the word does not set up world government but indicates patterns of international cooperation. The highest purposes of the United Nations will be achieved if these nations follow the letter of the Charter in the spirit in which it was written.

In accepting the Charter the United States will commit itself to the support of principles which we have long championed as a nation. 'The United States will also commit itself to using this instrument of international cooperation. However, as a member of the United Nations organizations, this country will not be compelled to pursue any policy or take any action other than by its own free will and according to its own decisions. This country's decisions, on the other hand,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »