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that opposition to a meaningful, central government was as strong then, as opposition to strengthening the United Nations might be today. But our own history has demonstrated the worth of a central government joining together separate and even antagonistic states. From that experience should we not be convinced of the value of considering the pattern for the world? Is it possible that by using this model, the international community can reorganize itself so as to be better able to solve global problems?
In conclusion, I want again to express the hope that this Committee may produce a study in depth that would serve as a meaningful observance of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution and also as a contribution toward world peace with justice. If attempts to halt the killing conflicts in the world today through a strengthened United Nations appear visionary, it must be remembered that to many thoughtful and knowledgeable citizens of the 13 sovereign colonies, the idea of a strong, central government under a Constitution appeared wholly unrealistic. Can the United States make any greater contribution in its observance of its own Bicentennial than to help the world to abolish war, mankind's most fearful illness? It is true that America was blessed with an extraordinary galaxy of statesmen in the Era of the American Revolution. But the dangers of war, of famine, of general disaster are greater today and statesmen of equal capability and courage are here today. May America lead the way now as it did 200 years ago.
STATEMENT OF BRUNO V. BITKER, CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN BAR
ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE ON WORLD PEACE THROUGH LAW
Mr. BITKER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am honored to appear before this distinguished body. By way of identification, I am a practicing lawyer in Milwaukee, Wis., and I have come out from Senator Percy's country. I am not, in the sense in which you have referred to it, officially connected with any United Nations organization, but I am affiliated with quite a number of organizations that have a direct and related interest in the United Nations and world affairs. But my appearance here is wholly in my individual capacity.
Incidentally, I have had the honor of appearing before this committee before, particularly in connection with the ratification of the Human Rights Commission.
COMMENTS ON PREVIOUS TESTIMONY
Now, the witnesses who have appeared previously, not so much this morning, but those whose testimony I was able to secure and read, and on other occasions persons have appeared before this committee to suggest specific ways in which the U.N. Charter might be amended, or by which the procedures within the United Nations might be changed so as to more nearly produce the result which was hoped for when the United Nations was first created. But I do not intend to take the time to discuss those specifics today, other than some general references to them.
In the first place, I want to make a special comment about at least one of the papers that I was able to read, of a witness that had appeared last week, and that is the statement by Senator Fulbright. It was an excellent statement, as I am sure this committee recognized. I also was impressed by the statement made by Professor Richard Gardner, although that dealt more specifically with fiscal matters and economic matters. And with the statement by Maxwell Stanlev, which was of a broader, more encompassing nature. I need not tell anyone how impressed I was, as we all were, by the statement of Mr.
Buckminster Fuller this morning. He has just reminded us that this is the one world he is talking about, and which he sets forth in his very fascinating maps.
HUMAN RIGHTS CONVENTIONS BEFORE COMMITTEE
I also want to make just a passing comment to the effect that this committee has in the past taken at least one step which I think will go far, if it is brought to fruition, in improving the image of this country before other nations of the world, and that has to do with the ratification of the Genocide Treaty. As this committee will recall, it has on several occasions reported out favorably the matter of the ratification. I believe the matter is again—I am not sure procedurally whether it is back before this committee, because it did not come to a vote last year. But in any event, presumably it is on the calendar, and I assume at some point will again reach the floor of the Senate, and I hope this year there will be a favorable vote on it. I might say that
The CHAIRMAN. In that connection, let me say that when the Senate committee reported the Genocide Treaty, there was, you might say, a condition attached to it, and that was to the effect that it was not expected to call the treaty up before the Senate until certain enabling legislation was enacted into law. I think I am correct in that.
Mr. BITKER. I am not sufficiently familiar with the points to which you made reference now, Mr. Chairman, but my recollection is that there was—the State Department had prepared enabling legislation which presumably would have followed the ratification of the treaty and presumably would not go into—I am not sure of this—that it might not go into effect until the enabling legislation was adopted. That, of course, would not stop the Senate from giving its advice and consent.
I hope also that this committee will, in due time, consider and recommend and give its advice and consent through the Senate to another U.N. convention, and this is the one on race discrimination; this is the one we have signed in the United Nations, whereby we have committed ourselves morally to ratify it. But nothing has been done about it, and it has not actually been sent up by the White House.
Two other conventions of a very broad and encompassing nature, the so-called—two conventions, the International Conventions on Human Rights, the one on civil rights, and the one on economic rights, have not been sent by the White House to the Senate. And I hope that this will be done, and this committee would favorably recommend a ratification by giving its advice and consent.
PREVIOUS U.N. REVIEW HEARINGS
This committee, of course, has heard matters relating to the United Nations Charter over a period of years. The chairman may recall that, as long ago as a quarter of a century, in 1950, this committee held extensive hearings, and the chairman then introduced a resolution which was known as Senate Resolution 133. I don't know if the chairman will recall this; I'm sure he will—it was extensively discussed and was, I might say, opposed by the State Department, which was unfortunate, I believe. In any event, those hearings today are of extreme
value and are very useful to any student who is interested in the whole subject matter of U.N. Charter review and revision.
This committee also held extensive hearings in 1954, and I remember them well, because my own Senator from Wisconsin was the chairman, Alexander Wiley. And, believe it or not, he once held hearings of the committee out in Milwaukee, where I had the honor of testifying at that time.
PROPOSED U.N. CHARTER REVIEW
Also, I want to call attention to the fact that during the last week of the last General Assembly-and Senator Percy will be aware of this, I am sure—there was presented to the Assembly a resolution—it is Resolution 3349—which provided for the creation of an ad hoc committee of 42 to review the whole subject matter of charter review and the suggestions which might come in from the nation members of the United Nations. This was adopted by an overwhelming vote. But I regret to say that the United States voted no, as did the Soviet Union.
The resolution was adopted; the committee is now in formation of creation. I am told that the United States will be represented on the committee, although it voted against the creation of the committee, and again I am sorry to say that this does represent the position of the State Department, which was evidenced when it made its position known in 1950, that it is reluctant and very hesitant to consider any changes either basically in the United Nations structure, charter, or procedures of any consequence.
RELEVANCE OF BICENTENNIAL TO CHARTER REVIEW
However, this brings me, and I hope I will have enough time to discuss this, because this is really the main point of the statement and my testimony this morning, which is this. We are now on the eve of, and I guess officially in, the Bicentennial observance. Now, I know the Bicentennial observance is a phrase that has been so misused, and it has been so commercialized as to almost demean its real meaning. But I want to point out to this committee that in the era of the Revolution, between 1776 and the adoption of the Constitution in 1789, all of the objections that are now made to considering charter change, procedural changes or any new steps with respect to the world organization, were then advanced against the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.
And what I would like to propose, Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, is that the manner in which most significantly and meaningfully this Bicentennial can be observed would be if this committee were to undertake a study in depth of how the Constitution was adopted and produce and publish it. It can be done through the use of the statements that have been made by witnesses, by scholars which this committee may wish to retain, or by its staff members, to show what happened in the era of the Revolution prior to 1789 and compare it to today. Maybe that study will end up by saying it can't done, but maybe it will point the way to the sort of thing that Mr. Fuller was talking about just a few minutes ago.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE 13 COLONIES
It is interesting for us to recall that the 13 sovereign independent States, they were 13 sovereign independent nations, of the Revolutionary era, were in conflict with each other as many of the 130-plus nations of the world are today. Now, we have the idea that everything was so alike in those days. They had a common language, although that has some reservations about it. They had a common culturai background, that obviously has many reservations about it. The fact is that there was no harmony, real harmony, between the 13 States of the Revolutionary period, any more than—in fact, there was nothing but disharmony, disunity.
Catherine Brinker Bowen, who has written remarkable biographies over the years—her last book was called "Miracle at Philadelphia" and gentlemen, it was a miracle that the Constitution finally came out because there were these sharp differences between the big States and the small States, the rich States and the poor States. We now use different phrases with respect to the differences among the states in the world, but the sharp differences, the conflict, were there.
Another book of the period—anybody who wants to start on these studies can use these two books as almost basic reading on the subject—and the other one was a book by the late historian, Carl Van Doren called "The Great Rehearsal”. Unfortunately, "The Great Rehearsal” is now out of print. But I did send to the committee a copy, a reprint, a photocopy of the preface to "The Great Rehearsal.” It is only four pages, and I wish it were possible for every member of this committee to glance through it. It is not long, because while the book itself, “The Great Rehearsal” is a historical document, going through point by point the conflicts between the States, and how each of the provisions of the Constitution finally came into being.
[The information referred to follows:]
THE GREAT REHEARSAL—THE STORY OF THE MAKING AND RATIFYING OF THE
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
(By Carl Van Doren)
The most momentous chapter in American history is the story of the making and ratifying of the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution has so long been rooted so deeply in American life-or American life rooted so deeply in it—that the drama of its origins is often overlooked. Even historical novelists, who hunt everywhere for memorable events to celebrate, have hardly touched the event without which there would have been a United States very different from the one that now exists; or might have been no United States at all.
The prevailing conceptions of those origins have varied with the times. In the early days of the Republic it was held, by devout friends of the Constitution, that its makers had received it somewhat as Moses received the Tablets of the Law on Sinai. During the years of conflict which led to the Civil War the Constitution was regarded, by one party or the other, as the rule of order or the misrule of tyranny. In still later generations the Federal Convention of 1787 has been accused of evolving a scheme for the support of special economic interests, or even a conspiracy for depriving the majority of the people of their liberties. Opinion has swung back and forth, while the Constitution itself has grown into a strong yet flexible organism, generally, if now and then slowly, responsive to the national circumstances and necessities.
The Constitution was made and ratified during one of the two periods of American history in which the American people have been most occupied with fundamental principles of government. In 1787 the problem was how the people could learn to think nationally, not locally, about the United States. In 1948 the problem is how the people can learn to think internationally, not nationally, about the United Nations.
The present problem has turned many minds back to 1787 in search of a historic parallel to serve as an example. In that year the former colonies of Great Britain, now independent states, were recovering from a war. During the war they had been drawn together by a common danger, but afterward they had sagged apart. The Confederation under which they lived was not so much a government as a league of states, in which the individual states retained a large part of their sovereignty. Congress was not a general legislature, but a diplomatic assembly, in which the states had equal votes. There was no general executive, no general judiciary. Congress could raise money only by asking the states to contribute their quotas for Confederation expenses. The Confederation government did not operate directly on the people of the United States, but only through the states themselves, bristling with sovereignty or absorbed in their own concerns.
The situation was, in any number of respects which can be seen at a glance, much like that of the sovereign states of the United Nations in 1948. In 1787 the Federal Convention, called to alter and amend the
Articles of Confederation, boldly created a federal government which should have authority and power to regulate federal affairs, while leaving local affairs to the states. This was no longer a league. It was a government. And many citizens of many nations are now convinced that only by some similar alteration of the Charter of the United Nations can the United Nations develop from a league of states into a government capable of securing the peace and welfare of the world.
The parallel between 1787 and 1948 is naturally not exact. Even if it were, 1787 would have no authority over 1948. Each age must make or keep its own government and determine its own future. Nor do those citizens of the world who in 1948 desire to see a federal world government created assume that the process would have to follow the example of the United States of 1787 in the details of the new government. The Federal Convention did not follow any single example. Neither should a General Conference of the United Nations be expected to.
But it is impossible to read the story of the making and ratifying of the Constitution of the United States without finding there all the arguments in favor of a general government for the United Nations, as well as all the arguments now raised in opposition to it.
In this respect those antagonists were precisely like the enemies and the friends of world federation in 1948, now when it is obvious that no difficulty in the way of a world government can match the danger of a world without it.
The story as here told brings those older arguments and counter-arguments once more to the light. The supporters of the Constitution in 1787 knew that they were planning a government only for the United States, but they believed their experiment would instruct and benefit all mankind. Their undertaking might be, though of course no one of them ever used the term, a rehersal for the federal governments of the future.
This story shows the arguments in action, not in a philosophic vacuum. The arguments are the story. Arguments must always be seen as actions if they are to reach through the minds of men to their hearts and habits.
But to summarize it all—and I think it would be of great value to anyone who is going to work on any report to make use of the preface of Carl Van Doren's book. Incidentally, what in a sense pulled the Thirteen Colonies together was, of course, the idea they wanted freedom. They all had agreed in 1776 on the Declaration of Independence, but interestingly enough, there was no government. The country was run under so-called Conventions that were held in Philadelphia, but it was not until 1781 when, for all practical purposes, the war was over at Yorktown, that even the Articles of Confederation were adopted. It took that long to agree upon them, because of these various differences, these conflicts that existed between these 13 nations.