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from my own observations abroad, some cities seem to be solving problems of urbanization better than we are in Chicago, Detroit, Watts, and other places. Mass transit in some other countries is far advanced over what we have in some parts of the United States.
Could we be drawing more upon U.N. agencies? We are paying 25 percent or more of the costs of those agencies. Would it strengthen our relationship with the United Nations and strengthen the attitude of Americans toward the U.N. if we used the expertise of the specialized agencies?
Mr. GOLDBERG. Yes.
MORE RESPONSIBLE INITIATIVE, LEADERSHIP TO MISSION AND OFFICERS
Senator PERCY. I noted in my report on the United Nations that I saw a tremendous amount of nitpicking going on, a terrific amount of cable traffic back and forth between New York and Washington on the minutest details of policy and speech material. In your judgment would we have a better policy if we gave a little more leeway to the mission? I took a position that I would initiate drafts of my own speeches and then send them down rather than respond to drafts prepared in the State Department, because usually what they sent was bland, almost meaningless sometimes, lacking in leadership, in fact no position that I could even figure out in some of these speeches, and that was apparently the intention.
Members of Congress on the delegation knew we did not have to take it or that we could at least argue back. In the end we were good soldiers and either gave the responsibility for the agenda item to a mission officer or conformed to the policy. We had a little input and I think the back and forth was good and healthy for the most part.
Would you care to comment on the possibility of giving a little more responsible initiative and leadership to the mission officers and have them feel that they are a stronger voice in establishing policy and not just spokesmen mouthing policy received from some faceless, nameless bureaucrat who always signs his name Kissinger, and you wonder whether it was even seen by the fifth layer under the Secretary much less the Secretary himself?
Mr. Yost. I would feel equally strongly, having suffered under it, I may say that the Department, or Washington in general, endeavors to second guess the mission far more than it does the average embassy. An ambassador in a post abroad in general has more discretion than the man in New York. I would certainly favor, as you suggest, writing one's own speeches to the extent one has time. There are occasions, of course, in the General Assembly when you are so rushed that you do not have time. Then input from either your own staff or Washington is helpful. But I think an ambassador and his staff should never hesitate to go right ahead and do their own writing and clear it. If Washington tries to gut it, protest strongly, and really try to say something substantive.
Mr. GOLDBERG. It depends upon the Ambassador. With the exception of the first speech I made, we drafted all of our own speeches and then submitted them for clearance.
Mr. STASSEN. I, of course have not seen any of the recent cables you speak of. I think the strength and ability and status and prestige of the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and his relationship in turn with the President and Secretary of State is the beginning of that kind of a situation that you speak of.
Mr. LODGE. Well, it stands to reason that a man like you can get a piece of paper from the State Department and, to the extent that you are willing to take the time to rewrite it will make it a much, much, much better speech. You know something about speech writing that people in the Government departments do not know.
When I was there I would take these State Department papers and look into it to see where the U.S. position on the issue was expressed and then I used to rewrite the whole thing in conformity with the policy because often the language was extremely turgent and would have just bored the journalists, and anybody, who is an ambassador to the U.N. is not engaged in trying to bore the journalists, he is engaged in trying to interest them.
Mr. Yost. I might add in the same connection that, because New York is so close to Washington, there is too much use of the telephone. People in Washington watch the TV of what is going on on the floor, and then telephone comments, do this, do that. Mr. LODGE. That is right.
REDUCTION OF CABLE TRAFFIC BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND NEW YORK
Senator PERCY. Is there any easy way that you can think of that we could reduce what I call paperitis, the cable traffic? You need a yardstick to measure it. It just seems to inundate the State Department. Can cables and telephone be put on a budget which would impose some sense of discipline? There must be some reductions—it is not just the writing of it all, but the reading of it, and it is generally a fairly high-priced person who has to read it. I don't know how they ever got any work done or have time to think. We have a Commission on Paperwork. I am tempted to ask that Commission, which is under the jurisdiction of the Government Operations Committee, to really look into this and work with the State Department to try to devise methods to reduce the flow of paper.
Did you find the paperwork a tremendous burden to you and your staffs at the U.S. mission?
Mr. LODGE. If you recreate the Hoover Commission this is one of the things a commission like that could study and come up with some very practical assistance.
Mr. Yost. The distribution of messages here in Washington, the most highly classified only go to about 300 people. Others may go to three thousand.
Senator PERCY. And “eyes only.” That is the way to get everybody to read it.
Mr. LODGE. That is right. Mr. GOLDBERG. A sensible ambassador and a good staff will not read all of that stuff that comes in. You have to rely upon the person.
Senator PERCY. One has to read it all in order to decide what to read and what not to read.
Mr. GOLDBERG. You have to have a very good assistant who screens the cables, so that the Ambassador reads what is only really important.
STRENGTHENING AND EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC AND CONGRESSIONAL
Senator PERCY. I have been critical in my comments of some of the material I received from the Department and the corrections that we received with which I disagreed. But in my report I also stated that I came back with a lot of notions changed, and I did get help from the Department and discovered that sometimes I had not taken everything into account. So it goes both ways. I do think that good public members and congressional Members, if they work hard at it, can make a contribution and can also learn a great deal.
Do you have any thoughts on how we can strengthen our public members and increase the effectiveness of the congressional Members ?
I found myself in conflict, constantly, as to where I should be—at the U.N. or on the floor of the Senate. That decision had to be made almost every day. There ought to be some way to relieve 2 persons out of 535 of their congressional duties so they could stay on the job at the U.N. unless their votes would make a crucial difference. There can always be exceptions.
Your judgment on this would be helpful. Mr. STASSEN. Just from long observation, I would make this observation. That if, as a policy, the Republicans and Democrats who are sent from the Senate would be someone who just had been reelected and did not have the pressure of an election coming up soon and someone who is really interested in the United Nations and, therefore, would give it time. And on the House side, if possible the Republicans and Democrats be individuals who did not face tough elections in the coming year so they would in effect be more able to give the kind of devoted attention they would like to give to the United Nations.
I think I would like to make one other comment on the matter. We have been rather critical of the State Department. I think there is another side to that. I would hope that in these various intense disputes we would get back to an earlier policy where a distinguished senior career diplomat is assigned to major problems in the world, like the Middle East, like Cyprus and so on, to stay with it and follow it through. That is really the way many of those most difficult problems were worked out in the time of Trieste and Austria, Finland, and Iran. There is a great career service there, if we use them in an effective sustained way.
IS POLITICAL SUPPORT WITHHELD?
Senator PERCY. Do you feel that the United States has a tendency to extol the virtues of international cooperation and pay the assessments, while withholding from the U.N. the full measure of the political support which the organization needs in order to become an effective instrument for peace and progress in the world?
Mr. Yost. I very strongly believe.
Mr. STASSEN. Vietnam affected all that in the last decade. Now I believe we are in a new chapter or new page or something or other, and that is why I think this committee's effort to reanalyze this at this particular juncture is a very fortuitous and hopeful scene.
U.N. EMPHASIS ON IIUMAN RATHER THAN NATION'S RIGHITS ? Senator PERCY. At the time of the of the founding of the U.N., Governor Stassen, you said that the new organization should emphasize human rights rather than national rights.
Looking back over the last 30 years, do you feel the U.N. has done this?
Mr. STASSEN. Sometims it has and sometimes it has not. I think generally where it has, the best results have come from it.
U.N. ROLE IN THE ARMS CONTROL
Senator PERCY. Ambassador Yost, What role should the United Nations play in arms control today? An increasingly significant factor in the armament buildup is the transfer of arms from one country to another. Do you see any possible U.N. role in controlling the arms trade, and I am thinking especially of the Middle East, which is probably the most dangerous spot in the world today, and where our arms salesmen are moving the most sophisticated and dangerous nonnuclear weapons that we can devise to both sides?
What role should the U.N. play? Mr. Yost. Well, I should very much like to see the United States take the leadership in trying to persuade the United Nations to take on a much broader job in the field of arms control particularly in the field of conventional arms control. Probably strategic arms have to be handled primarily in bilateral negotiations but the whole conventional arms field, including the transfer of arms, is woefully neglected. The U.N. has a Conference on Disarmament that meets annually in Geneva which has some good work in the limited fields of biological warfare, nonproliferation, planting of weapons on the seabed, and so on, but I think it should be given a much broader mandate to concentrate on the whole field of conventional arms.
Mr. GOLDBERG. In the Middle East we did offer such a proposal in 1967 as an element of insuring peace in the Middle East. It was turned down by the Soviets. I doubt that limitation of arms can be done unilaterally. The Russians do supply arms and our policy is a balance of arms. This is the only thing you can do until we can get some senseable mutual agreements between the arms suppliers. I think that is an element that must be considered.
ACTION REGARDING ISRAELI SITUATION Senator PERCY. Is there anything you can think of that we should be doing now? I witnessed, with deep sadness, the anti-Israeli feeling at the United Nations, an isolation of Israel and the United States, but when I went through the Arab world there was an increasing willingness by Arab leaders to say that Israel is here to stay, it has the right to exist as a sovereign nation, and we are recognizing that; and the U.N. resolutions 242 and 338 recognize it. Yet we have this movement, as Justice Goldberg has pointed out, that is frightening and could do more to destroy the credibility of the United Nations in the eyes of the American people and fairminded people around the world than anything else. What should we be doing about this now?
Mr. GOLDBERG. I think we must make a sustained diplomatic effort to the capitals of the member states to get a more accurate reflection of world opinion at the U.N. We are not getting it now. Senator PERCY. I want to thank all of you very much. The committee is recessed until 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.
[Whereupon at 1 p.m. the committee recessed to reconvene at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 8, 1975.]