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THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED NATIONS
THURSDAY, MAY 8, 1975
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m., in room 4221, Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Hon. John Sparkman (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Sparkman, Symington, Clark, Biden, Case, and Percy.
The CHAIRMAN. Let the committee come to order, please. Today we warmly welcome our good friend and former chairman of this committee, in fact he was chairman longer than anyone in the history of the committee-for 15 years—and a man by whose side I sat on two committees for 22 years.
Senator Case. I was on Banking and Currency, too, when he was chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I remember. Senator CASE. We suffered under him for a long time. [Laughter.] It is nice that you are here. I want to say now so as not to interrupt you that if I leave in my 10 minutes it is because I have to go downtown for a very sad errand and not because I want to leave.
The CHAIRMAN. They are having the funeral this morning of our friend, Senator Keating. I had hoped to go, but I had to cancel out.
We are very glad to have Senator Fulbright before us this morning. I think it is only proper that we recall that when he was a freshman Congressman-Bisl was elected first to the House in 1942—he introduced a significant resolution.
Mr. FULBRIGHT. It was introduced in April 1943 and passed in September.
The CHAIRMAN. He introduced the famous Fulbright resolution that has been generally credited, and properly so, to being the real beginning of the movement for all the nations of the world to come together.
It was the first resolution putting the House of Congress on the record as agreeing to participate in accordance with constitutional processes in the postwar organization dedicated to the preservation of peace and security. That is the Fulbright resolution adopted by the House of Representatives, as I said in 1943. I was among the Representatives at that time who joined 359 of my colleagues in the House to vote for the Fulbright resolution. The vote was 360 for it and 19 against.
In more recent years Senator Fulbright has encouraged greater use of the United Nation's machinery for the dispensation of foreign assistance and for international lending, for channeling Peace Corps type activities through a multinational volunteer corps, and for playing a greater role in political settlements, especially in the Middle East. I could go on and name many things that Senator Fulbright has done. Probably one of the best known is the Fulbright scholarship program. Anywhere in the world you can hear about the Fulbright scholars.
Senator, Mr. Chairman, we are glad to have you with us. Do any one of you gentlemen have a statement to make 'before we let him start talking? You won't get to make one afterward. [Laughter.]
Senator Case. You do him an injustice. You remember he talked a great deal when he was up there in your chair, but that was his prerogative then. He was never a man to let an opportunity go by. We are certainly glad to welcome you today and this won't be the last time.
SENATOR PERCY'S STATEMENT
Senator PERCY. I should like to join in welcoming our former colleague.
When we made up the list of prospective witnesses, Senator Fulbright's name was put at the head of the list because no one has put more emphasis on diplomacy rather than military force, to solve the real problems. We have wanted an excuse to have you back with us, Senator, and we welcome you.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Clark, you did not have the privilege of serving on the committee when Senator Fulbright was chairman. He was a great chairman. Senator Clark is a new member of the committee doing a very fine job.
Do you have any statement to make!
Senator CLARK. No. I did have the privilege of serving in the Senate for 2 years with Bill Fulbright and we are very happy to have you here again, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. You were in the Senate but not on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator CLARK. That is right.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR J. W. FULBRIGHT, FORMER CHAIRMAN,
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
Mr. FULBRIGHT. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate very much this invitation to appear before this great committee. It does seem to me to be a most appropriate time just as we have demonstrated that military means are not as effective as some people thought they might be. The country and the committee ought to be on the move to consider the alternative which we are here to talk about today.
NO RATIONAL ALTERNATIVE TO U.N. PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES
As you know, I have had a deep and continuing interest in the use of negotiations and discussions rather than force to resolve differences. That is what this is all about. The experiences which we have suf
fered since the time referred to by the chairman, which is more than 30 years ago, have strengthened my conviction that there is no rational alternative to the principles and procedures of the United Nations. I might say, since you have mentioned it, that the impetus for that resolution, the reason the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the House accepted it, unanimously, I believe, at that time, was because we were in the midst of a war, and the costs of that war were so evident to everyone that there was no question about their approval. It was, as you have demonstrated, almost unanimous in the House as a whole and it was unanimous in the committee.
The circumstances, I think, were very propitious at that time and so are they now, with a different twist, because the futility of the Vietnam war is now evident to everyone. I think it is a very appropriate time to be considering this matter.
It seems to me the development of the hydrogen bomb has removed any doubt from rational minds that the periodic breakdown of the old international system of sovereign States, precariously balanced in a chaotic and lawless arena, is no longer good enough. Incineration by nuclear weapons just is not glamorous or appealing, eren to the most romantic of our cold warriors, so I again repeat there is no rational alternative to the U.N., or something like the United Nations.
COMMENDATION OF SENATORS SYMINGTON AND PERCY
I wish to commend Senators Symington and Percy for their reports to this committee on their service in the 29th session of the U.N. General Assembly. I was pleased that both of these distinguished Senators concluded that the U.N. should be supported more vigorously by the United States. I especially commend Senator Percy for suggesting this review by this committee of the United Nations and its work.
U.N. STILL FUNCTIONS TO U.S. ADVANTAGE
I should like to suggest that Americans especially should be patient and understanding with the U.N. Our own Congress is about as near or similar to the U.N. as any significant political institution in the world. For 200 years, it has survived some tough trials and many tribulations, but it still functions to our advantage. The analogy is not close, nor conclusive; it simply suggests that discussion and compromise is the only known alternative to oppression and bloodshed, so I hope we will not abandon the U.N. but on the contrary, we should seek to use it and to strengthen it.
U.N. UNIVERSITY TO BE ESTABLISHED IN JAPAN
One example of our neglect is our failure to respond in any way to the creation of the United Nations University to be established in Japan. I am reminded of this primarily because I recently had the privilege of visiting in Japan and only returned about 10 days ago. The Japanese Government, I am informed, has pledged $100 million to the University, but the United States has so far taken no action whatever. It so happens the Emperor of Japan is scheduled to come to the United States this fall. I think it would be a very fine thing if this committee could persuade our Government to make some contribution to the project which the Japanese take to be very specially their responsibility. When you consider that the Japanese are still following our admonition not to rearm in any major way other than pure local defense, they deserve some consideration from us. For that reason, if no other, although there are many other reasons, we should support this project.
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN U.N. CONCEPT AT FRAMING OF CHARTER
Mr. Chairman, if I may for a few minutes, by way of a clarification, say a few words before I give you my major statement. It is essential that we distinguish clearly between the U.N. as envisioned by the framers of the Charter in 1945 and the organization that actually functions in New York today. This is one reason that many people, as reflected in the press, have evidenced so much disaffection about it. The one represents the U.N. idea, the conception of a responsible, effective international peacekeeping organization. The other—the U.N. Assembly as it operates today-is something different. It represents in a sense the abandonment of the original idea of the U.N. I emphasize "abandonment” and not the failure of the original U.N. idea, because a plan cannot be said to have failed when no serious effort has been made to implement it. The essentially powerless and sometimes irresponsible, assemblage of nations, which is the U.N. Assembly today, is not the result of any inherent defect in the U.N. Charter or the conception on which it is based. It is rather the result of our deep mistrust of the U.N. idea, of our fear and refusal almost from the outset to put even a small measure of our trust in international institutions.
We are all aware of the contempt in which the Soviet Union held in the U.N. in the immediate aftermath of World War II, but we are less aware of the negative attitude of the Truman administration, which almost certainly would have given the world organization short shrift but for the automatic majorities which enabled us in those days to use the world body for our own purposes. Dean Acheson, who was perhaps the principal architect of American foreign policy in the early post-war years, told an interviewer in 1970, and I quote, “I never thought the United Nations was worth a damn. To a lot of people it was a Holy Grail, and those who set store by it had the misfortune to believe their own bunk.”
REVIVING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ORIGINAL U.N. IDEA RECOMMENDED
As one who did then, and still does, believe that "bunk," I contend there is nothing more important in our foreign policy, nothing more essential to our national interest, than a renewed, belated effort to breath life into the now enfeebled world organization. This is not, I emphasize, to place our trust in the U.N. as it operates today; it is rather to make a concerted effort to revive and implement the original U.N. idea. The way to do this is by making the Security Council and other U.N. organs the central forum of our foreign relations, particularly on matters of pressing import like the middle East. I would
think it most important to conduct prospective Geneva conferences under clearly delineated U.N. auspices. But more important still the U.N. can play a central role in the solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict-through use of permanent international forces to patrol demiliterized zones; U.N. teams to inspect and oversee compliances by both sides with the terms of the settlement and, finally, by providing appropriate guarantees of the overall settlement.
I am well aware of the low esteem in which the U.N. is held by Israel and perhaps others, but a U.N. guarantee would also be a great power guarantee, more specifically a Soviet-American guarantee, and that, one hopes, would inspire some measure of confidence. The point is the great nations can vest power in the U.N. by lending it a measure of their own.
Even without the immediate cooperation of others there is much else the United States could do to breathe life into the U.N. We could make it national policy to appoint men or women of emminence and power—with the prestige of the late Adlai Stevenson or the late Senator Robert Taft-as our representatives in the U.N. We could make it national policy to refrain from using our veto in the Security Council.
We could make it known to the other great powers that the U.N. is our preferred forum for negotiations on arms control and other crucial issues. We could take the lead in negotiating those long-neglected agreements called for by Article 43 of the Charter, under which members would and I quote, “Make available to the Security Council *** armed forces, assistance and facilities” to deal with threats to and breaches of the peace.
NECESSITY OF EFFECTIVE WORLD PEACEKEEPING ORGANIZATION
There is very little in international affairs about which I feel certain, but there is one thing of which I am quite certain, the necessity of fundamental change in the way nations conduct their relations with each other. There is nothing in the human environment, as Adlai Stevenson once reminded us, to prevent us from bringing about some fundamental change. Even the great legal realist of the World War II period, Winston Churchill, recognized the importance of the U.N. idea. In his famous speech at Fulton, Mo., in 1946, remembered for its reference to the “iron curtain” which had rung down across the continent of Europe, Churchill called for a new, cooperative world order. He called for a "good understanding on all points with Russia under the general authority of the United Nations organization,” and he called, too, for the arming of a new world body with international force. Speaking of the U.N., he said, and I quote, “We must make sure that its work is fruitful, that it is a reality and not a sham, that it is a force for action, and not merely a frothing of words, that it is a true temple of peace in which the shields of many nations can some day be hung up, and not merely a cockpit in a Tower of Babel.”
Churchill's call made sense in 1946, and it still makes sense. Now as then the idea of an effective world peacekeeping organization is something more than a visionary ideal, it is an immediate and practical necessity.