United States. Dept. of State. Office of Public Co.

Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) online

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tee has now had tlie views of the proponents of
the various resohitions before it, each of which ad-
vocates furtlier action of one sort or another to
extend our participation in international organ-

Two impressive facts have emerged from the
testimony thus far. One is tliat the proponents
of the resolutions before you share a sense of the
inadequacy of mankind's present political ar-
rangements and a sense of urgency with respect to
more effective action in building a world security
system. The other is that the only serious criti-
cism of existing international machinery comes
from those who wish to have us participate more
rather than less. It may be significant that there
is no resolution before the Committee calling for
us to withdraw from our iiiteniational responsi-
bilities — nor is there any significant organized
opinion in the country which takes that view. I
take that to mean that the people of this country
have reached a basic understanding that the fate of
this nation is interwoven with events beyond our
borders and that our safety, liberty, and well-be-
ing require us to act as a part of the world
about us.

Only a fool could close his mind to the possi-
bility that we may need to take further steps in
the field of international organization. We are
not hei'c to enter a blind defense of a status quo.
The postwar world is neither secure nor stable, nor

' Made before the Senate Committee on Foreign Rela-
tions on Feb. 1,5, 1950.

are its peoples free and adequately fed. Sovereign
states have been reluctant to yield enough of their
freedom of action to insure the safety of us all.
The scars of the devastation of World War II
have not been healed. Shifting power alinements
and struggles for power advantage continue to
cast a shadow over the more constructive efforts
to work together across national frontiers. In
great areas of the world, population is pressing
hard against the ceilings of available foodstuffs.
We who can produce so much find it difficult to
work out a rational basis upon which we can ex-
change our wealth for the wealth of othei-s — to our
mutual advantage. The great national, political,
and social revolutions touched off in the Westei-n
world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
continue to force fundamental change in many
parts of the world. The counterrevolution and
reaction of international communism has not only
become an effective tool for the extension of the
power of the Russian state but in certain areas it
is rebuilding the institutions of tyranny and sup-
pression against which men have been struggling
for centuries. A world which is being forcibly
united by technical development is divided by stul>-
born traditions, racial animosities and barriers of J
language, religion, and custom. The breath-tak-j
ing pace at which the boundaries of human knowl-
edge and technical capacity are being smashed isj
not matched by our ability to organize man to deal_
with the problems of his own creation. As it has
been well put by others, our central problem is
whether man wlio knows so much is wise enough
to survive.

If it is foolish to close our minds to change, it
would be equally foolish for us not to hold tena-
ciously to the gains which we have already made
and not to take account of the lessons of our recent


Department of Sfa/e Bulletin

experience. I shall show in a few moments (hat
wo have come a very lonj^ way in the work of the
United Nations. That structure has been power-
fuliv reinfoived by sucli regional arrangements
as the Kio Pact and the North Atlantic Pact. It
would lie disastrous, if by turning in any irrespon-
sible or whimsical fashion to new forms of organi-
zation or glittering formulae for perfection, wo
wei-e to set oui-selves back. Almost all of the pro-
ponents of the resolutions before us have stated
their strong support for the United Nations and
have disclaimed any intention or desire to weaken
it in any way. But as the people of the country
consider what our attitude shall be toward these
proposals, we nuist bear in mind that, by ill-consid-
ered action, we can inflict unintentional damage
and destroy what we think we are trying to save.
The power and influence of the United States im-
poses upon us a very great responsibility; our
action or our inaction can profoundly affect the
course of events in the rest of the world.

We should do irreparable harm if we should
come forward with bold proposals for radically
new international organization without satisfac-
tory answers to some very fundamental questions.

Exactly what is it we are proposingUiat we and
others do? Wliat is it we want? What do we
have in mind? Do we oui-selves understand the
full implications of the course we have in mind?
Are we acting from sober reflection or from hys-
teria, fear, or lack of understanding of our situa-
tion? Are we prepared to persevere in the new
course? Are we willing to pay the costs? Have
we considered the matter carefully from the point
of view of other nations? "Wliich of our existing
problems would be solved or brought substantially
near solution if the new course were adopted —
or which of the threats now hanging over the world
would be magnified and made more difficult to
handle? What procedures, both within our own
constitutional system and in the international field,
must we follow if we are to go forward under the
new proposal? These are important questions
whatever our proposals, but they are vital if we
are to consider whether we shall place in the hands
of others the power to dispose of the manpower
and the resources of the United States.

What do we Americans want in this twentieth
centurj' in our relations with the rest of the world?
What IS our foreign policy ? In one sense, it can-
not be stated. This great nation, rich, sprawling,
and diverse, will not allow its foreign policy to be
compressed into a few words by a handful of
people in AVashington. In another sense, our
foreign policy is known and understood by our
citizens throughout the land. A well-considered
and convenient statement of our basic policy is
found in the Preamble and in articles 1 and 2 of the
Charter of the United Nations. ... A reading
would remind us, however, that the purposes and
principles written into the Charter while we were
still facing trial by fire in the recent war do iii

April 3, 1950

fact reflect the basic principles and the loftiest
aspirations of the American people. . . .

The emphasis in these hearings has not been
upon a restatement of our broad purposes but upon
how we can translate them into accomplished fact.
We shall never conqjletely realize all our purposes.
It is a part of our nature to aspire to goals beyond
our immediate reacii and not to be satisfied so long
as important jobs remain to be done. As we solve
some problems, others will arise to take their place.
Some we shall not readily solve and may have to
endure for a considerable period.


Again, it is characteristic for us to continue to
point toward the future — to apply our energy
and intelligence toward the problems ahead of us
rather than to spend our time in contemplation of
past successes or matters behind us. This tend-
ency to turn to the next task ahead is entirely
wholesome, provided it does not make pessimists
of us all. If we are to assess our situation ac-
curately and are to sunnnon the hope and faith
we need for the job ahead, perhaps we should
pause on rare occasions and borrow encourage-
ment from the record of the ]iast. Time does not
permit a complete analysis of the recent record,
but it is not unimportant that the blockade of
Berlin of a year ago was removed, the fighting in
Indonesia gave way to a statesmanlike agreement,
that the troublesome issues of Palestine are in the
process of peaceful settlement with no real likeli-
hood of a resumption of fighting, that guerrilla
operations in Greece have been overcome and that
Greek effort can be increasingly devoted to the
long-needed reconstruction of the country, that the
North Atlantic community is organizing itself
strongly for its mutual defense, that the Western
European economy is daily becoming stronger and
more vigorous, and that significant steps are being
taken to integrate Western Germany and Japan
into the family of nations on a peaceful and co-
operative basis. I cite these not to stinudate a
false optimism but to point out that much con-
structive work is going on continuously all about

As we turn to matters ahead of us, we see an
agenda of formidable problems. We do not have
international control of atomic energy and are
confronted with competition in atomic weapons.
We have not resolved the formidable gap between
our exports and our imports. We have not
reached a satisfactory peace settlement for Ger-
many, Japan, or even Austria and a reintegration
of those peoples back into the community of na-
tions. The peoples of Asia have not yet achieved
stability in their effort to build free societies of
their own and are being directly threatened by the
counterrevolutionary and reactionary forces of
international communism with subjection to the


interests of the Russian state. The world has not
yet found a satisfactory basis on which relations
with the Soviet Union can be conducted, nor a
means for insuring that the Soviet Union will
respect tlie conduct required of all states if there
is to be peace.

There are many other questions before us but
those which have just been named are of major
importance and bear directly upon the issues
which are being discussed in these hearings. It
becomes not only pertinent but necessary to con-
sider how we are to get at these problems, even
though we may not have complete solutions. It
has been evident from the hearings thus far that
the Subcommittee is not so much concerned with
theoretical problems of forms and organization as
with practical problems imposed upon us by
urgent issues of foreign policy.


It will be seen at a glance that the important
problems before us are not likely to submit to a
single method or to a single organizational de-
vice. The effort of the United States in the post-
war world has been applied on a broad front, in
a bold and creative manner, advancing where it is
possible to advance and searching out alternative
means where obstacles bar the way. We have
emphasized and strongly supported the United
Nations as the organization of the world commu-
nity and have worked in it to resolve problems of
general interest and concern. We have dealt with
other questions of a regional character in regional
organizations, particularly in the inter-American
system and in the North Atlantic community.
The great mass of the daily conduct of our foreigii
relations continues to be on a bilateral basis, direct
between government and government. This com-
bination of general, regional, and bilateral effort is
not the result of theoretical analysis but is required
for the orderly conduct of our business. A brief
examination of some of our experience in using
general, regional, and bilateral procedures might
be useful in considering some of the issues de-
veloped in these hearings.

We will continue to give unfaltering support to tlie
United Nations and related agencies, and we will continue
to search for ways to strengthen their authority and in-
crease their effectiveness.

. . . Apart from the Soviet bloc, for the mo-
ment, it is fair to say that the membership of the
United Nations is making a persistent and honest
effort, in hundreds of matters which come before
that organization each year, to carry out the pur-
poses of the Charter. No single nation, including
our own, has fully measured up to the high stand-
ards of the Charter — but that has not been ex-
pected. Wliat has been accepted as a general obli-
gation is to try by practical steps, within available
means, each in his own way, to contribute to the
objectives established. . . .

However cynical we may believe that effort
becomes on many issues, it is noteworthy that even
the Soviet Union acknowledges in this somewhat
left-handed fashion, the moral and political au-
thority of the Charter among the i)eoples of the

This world-wide acceptance of principles which
are central to our own foreign policy is a tremen-
dous asset which the United States must carefully
nourish. It provides the basis for a solidarity of
the world community which could not readily be
brought about through propaganda, diplomatic
negotiation, or other available means. . . .

The Charter has been drafted ; it has been signed
and placed in effect; it provides a basic structure
for the constructive consolidation of the world
community. It is a fair question to ask whether,
if we now embark upon an effort to redistribute
governmental power in a fundamental way, we
would not now unleash divisive and disruptive
forces of diverse interests and cultures at the very
moment when solidarity is of the greatest possible

It should be noted that the Charter is our basic
over-all agreement with the Soviet Union. It was
negotiated in detail with great care at a time when
we and they were fighting a common enemy. It
contained provisions whicTi, if loyally carried out,
would insure the peace. . . .

The United Nations and the Charter

When we turn to the United Nations and its
Charter we are conscious of tlie dominant role
whicli support for the United Nations has played
in our foreign policy. As a treaty aproved for
ratification by a vote of 89 to 2 in the Senate, it is
a part of the supreme law of our land. A more
effective use of the United Nations was the theme
of tlie Vandenberg resolution passed by the Senate
on June 11, 1948, by a vote of G4 to 4. President
Truman, in his inaugural address, outlined our
program for peace and freedom and stated in his
first point that:


When one attempts to assess the work of the
United Nations system up to this point, one dis-
covers that the story is difficult to tell. The
United Nations has long since outgrown the possi-
bilities of a short and simple account. I am con-
vinced that at least some of the discouragement
and some of the cj-nicism which has found expres-
sion resvdts from a lack of understanding or even
of information about its activities. . . . This
nuiterial is available in the publications of the
United Nations as well as in materials supplied by
the Department of State and by many of our lead-
ing private organizations who arc performing a


Department of State Bulletin

splendid service in tlieir publications. The De-
piirtnient of State will be is.suin

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) → online text (page 5 of 116)