« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
TO LIMIT U.S. CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE UNITED
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1971
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 9:40 a.m., in room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building, the Honorable Donald M. Fraser (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. FRASER. The meeting of the subcommittee will come to order.
We are continuing our hearings on bills which propose to alter the basis on which the United States contributes to the United Nations. This morning we are privileged to have as a witness one of our very able and distinguished colleagues, Philip Crane. I want to apologize for having you come to our last hearing and then not being able to hear you, Mr. Crane.
Mr. CRANE. That is quite all right. Mr. FRASER. We particularly appreciate your courtesy in letting one of the other witnesses go ahead of you at the last hearing.
Would you please proceed? STATEMENT OF HON. PHILIP M. CRANE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Mr. CRANE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me say I was more than happy to yield to the former Ambassador to the U.N. owing to his time schedule and I am grateful for this opportunity to come back at this time.
For many years the contribution of the United States to international organizations, particularly the United Nations and its constituent agencies, has been far in excess of that of other countries. In a statement issued on December 16, 1970, Secretary of State William Rogers made this fact clear.
In that statement Secretary Rogers declared that: U.S. contributions to international organizations and programs totaled $307.6 million in fiscal year 1969. This figure includes assessed contributions of $124.2 million to 54 special programs in support of economic development and humanitarian activities and $6 million to one U.N. peacekeeping operation,
Secretary Rogers further pointed out that: Our assessed contributions to international organizations in the fiscal year 1969 came to 32.7 percent of total assessments against all member states, while
our voluntary contributions represented 37.2 percent of the total. On an overall basis, we contributed 35.1 percent of total contributions (both assessed and voluntary) to all the organizations and programs.
There are now 131 United Nations members with a total population-excluding Communist China which was recently admitted of 2.724 million. Our own population is 207.1 million, which is 7.6 percent of the total, an even lower percentage when compared with the new figures based upon Communist China's entrance.
The total United Nations budget is $966.500,000 and the total U.S. contribution for 1970 was $300,684,000. The anticipated U.S. contribution for 1971 is $335,443,000. According to the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, this represents a contribution of 36.05 percent. By any standard, our own Government is contributing to the United Nations out of all proportion to its population.
In his annual report for 1969–70, Secretary Rogers notes that “For the first time in the history of the United Nations, the United States at the 1970 General Assembly did not vote for the U.N. budget. We abstained on the 1971 budget of $192.1 million because of its unusually large increase of 14 percent, including an 8 percent pay increase for professionals in the Secretariat, which we considered excessive.”
I agree with Secretary of State Rogers that the United Nations budget has increased in an excessive manner. More than this, our own contribution has been far out of proportion to our size, especially when considering the fact that other nations, such as the U.S.S.R. and France, have continually refused to pay for any United Nations actions with which they have disagreed.
The United Nations has, it seems, mismanaged its funds. As recently as a month ago, Secretary General U Thant told the Budget Committee of the General Assembly that the United Nations was "in a state of near and hopeless insolvency." The New York Times of October 27, 1971 said "Such gloomy forecasts are not new, and State Department oflicials here vouch for their accuracy. But they point out that there is a remedy, short of financial collapse-cutting back expenditures."
The Times quoted a State Department oflicial as stating that “It's not like a business firm. It can cut back on production of documents or expensive seminars, or simply adopt other austerity measures. That would go a long way toward solving the problems."
It is just and proper that our country do everything possible to assist in creating a world at peace. It is somewhat questionable, however, as to whether or not many of the activities which are being financed by the United Nations are assisting in achieving that end. As Secretary Rogers and many others have pointed out, the United Nations has often been injudicious in its expenditure of money. It may be that this injudicious manner of spending money may be based at least partially on the willingness of our Government to make up for the failure of others to contribute or for other budgetary difficulties.
At a time when our own economy suffers from a serious inflation which is based in large measure upon the need for government to spend more money than it has, it seems appropriate to reconsider governmental expenses which might be dispensed with.
The opinions of Secretary Rogers and others with regard to the United Nations budget lead me to believe that our contribution to
that organization is an important place to begin. This would, in the long run, be of assistance to the United Nations itself for it would place our role and the role of other nations on a more equitable and fair basis.
In reviewing our own contribution to the United Nations it should also be remembered that, in many respects, that organization has failed to fulfill the promise which initially prompted our more than generous approach to its funding.
At a time when Jews suffer mounting oppression in the Soviet Union, when men and women in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the other nations of Eastern Europe are subjected to the new colonialism of the Brehznev doctrine, when religious and intellectual freedom are unknown in vast portions of the world, the United Nations remains surprisingly silent. It raises its voice only to attack those few nations it considers to be "easy" targets-nations such as Israel, Rhodesia, and Portugal. Only last month it has decided that the United States itself has become such an "easy target."
In an unprecedented and cynical action 106 countries, including Communist China, voting for the first time in the United Nations, censured the U.S. Congress for permitting strategic chrome imports from Rhodesia.
The very concept of nations such as the Soviet Union and Communist China, nations which hold their subject peoples in virtual captivity, declaring that the United States, a free and open society which has for so long shouldered the major burden of financing the United Nations, is in violation of its international commitments, would be taken simply for the double standard which seems to work so often in international politics were it not for one fact. That fact is that it is we, the United States, who are, in effect, paying the bills for an organization which, it seems, has become little more than a sounding board for the harshest kind of anti-American vituperation and propaganda.
The General Assembly of the United Nations voted to protest the recent congressional action permitting chrome purchases in Rhodesia. The Security Council had previously imposed mandatory sanctions on trade with Rhodesia. It is important to remember that sanctions were not voted against the Soviet Union, which has ruthlessly invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia, or against Communist China, which has invaded India, committed genocide in Tibet, and been found guilty of aggression in Korea. It was Rhodesia, which invaded no one, which was chosen as another "easy target.
The United Nations is rapidly becoming a sounding board for a view point which rejects its own Declaration of Human Rights and the mandates of the charter. The delegate from Communist China, for example, declared that his government regarded the resolutions of the United Nations during the Korean war as illegal and would seek to have them annulled. He reiterated the philosophy of Mao Tse-tung that “power comes out of the barrel of a gun," and instead of urging the peaceful solution to world problems called for by the charter, urged support for guerrilla war throughout the underdeveloped world.
Our original commitments to the United Nations were based on our strong hope that this international agency would be an effective force for peace in the world.
In fact, anyone who has read the preamble to the United Nations Charter would agree that the ends for which the U.N. was established are indeed noble. Yet after 25 years of existence, I seriously question if the United Nations has met those goals and if there is any conceivable chance that it will in the future.
For our Government to continue to fulfill the financial role of the past, in light of our own economic problems and the fact that the United Nations is not using the funds provided for the purposes set forth in the charter, would clearly be for us to act against our own self-interest and against the interests of world peace.
Mr. FRASER. Thank you very much, Mr. Crane.
Mr. Gross. I appreciate that our colleague is here this morning to speak on this subject. Apparently, Mr. Crane, you are not impressed with the complaint that this bill to reduce the contribution to the United Nations would constitute a violation of our treaty commitment to the U.N.?
Mr. CRANE. Well, sir, in my judgment, after the action taken by the United Nations in violation of its own charter in admitting Communist China and expelling Nationalist China from that body, I would only remind the gentleman that the charter of the United Nations specifically states that the Republic of China is a permanent member of the Security Council and there is no way of confusing the Republic of China with the People's Republic of China. The charter further prescribes the conditions for expulsion of any member; namely, a recommendation from the Security Council to the General Assembly which automatically requires that two-thirds vote for expulsion and that the conditions for expulsion involve persistent violations of the principles of the U.N. Charter. When the U.N. took the action it did in totally repudiating its own charter, in my judgment, all bets were off, and any obligations we had terminated at that point. As a result, I think we have every right in the world to act as independently as the other members of that body did when they took that action.
Beyond that I would also remind the distinguished gentleman from Iowa that, if one wants to censure such action, we have a very fine precedent in the action taken by the U.S. Congress when it passed the measure recently that permitted trade with Rhodesia in chrome for our vital defense purposes.
I think that that was an altogether proper action and I supported a majority of my colleagues in the House and a majority in the Senate who passed that particular measure.
Mr. Gross. Apparently the gentleman is not impressed by the constant wails of some people that our support should be predicated upon the alleged "capacity to pay"; is that correct?
Mr. CRANE. That is on the one hand an enticing argument to many in this day and age. At the same time I would only say in response to that question that, first of all, in calculating GNP, we have some rather precise ways of doing it in a free and open society but how do you measure, for example, that portion, or that cost of services in a totalitarian state where people are working at gun point? That certainly is not calculated into their GNP, so I would have taken issue with the formula in the first instance but I think that is really beside the point today.
The truth of the matter is we do not have the capacity to pay. We have a total national indebtedness greater than the national indebtedness of every other nation in the world combined.
Last year we ran a $30 billion deficit and there is talk that in this next fiscal year our deficit may exceed $40 billion.
We have international economic problems that we are all abundantly aware of and, under these circumstances, it is plain to me that the United States simply does not have the capacity to pay.
In rearranging our priorities, I can think of many other priorities that, in my judgment, must take precedence over a continued funding level at the present rate of the U.N.
Mr. Gross. As far as I am concerned, and I hope the gentleman will agree with me, the gross national product, as a yardstick for measuring our economic well-being, is about as falacious as any measurement could be,
Mr. CRANE. I would agree with the gentleman.
Mr. Gross. I thank the gentleman for his response and for his statement as a whole.
Mr. FRASER. Mr. Crane, I assume that you would have the United States stay in the United Nations?
Mr. CRANE. Yes, indeed.
Mr. FRASER. So what you are arguing in effect, then, is that the current level of investment, if you look at it that way, of the United States resources in the U.N. as in excess of the value of the organization, or is in excess of what reasonable contribution ought to be and therefore should be revoked.
Mr. CRANE. In my judgment, Mr. Chairman, that is exactly the case.
The formula that I have proposed is one based on population rather than capacity to pay or GNP formulation. I know that there are those who say, "Well, if we were to change our formula for contributing to the financial support in this manner, and to urge this upon some of the poorer nations, particularly a country like Red China, that Red China's contribution would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 million annually, whereas ours would be cut back to approximately $63 or $64 million."
To be sure on the per capita formulation that is what the figures would be. Some say, "Well, how could a poor country such as Red China afford to pay $250 million a year for the support of the United Nations?" I would only respond to that by saying that Red China has over the past 6 years put more annually into the support of North Vietnam's war effort than $250 million.
Now that Red China has joined an organization committed to peace and freedom worldwide and presumably has subscribed to those principles, I am sure she would like to divert her investment for war to an investment for peace and she can very handily pick up some of the slack that would result in a cutback in our funding.
Mr. FRASER. One of the most populous countries in the world is India with a population, if I recall, on the order of 600 million, second only to China's 800 million. What would your view be with respect to their capacity to pay!
Mr. CRANE. First of all, I think they might develop some of the financial wherewithal by getting out of Pakistan, and that this would contribute enormously to their capacity to pay. I suspect that India