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factured and primary products in the world, a fundamental issue on which so much of the argument such as this charter of rights and duties is based, the argument that the terms of trade are working against the primary producers, that there has been a long run deterioration, that as a consequence the poor get poorer and so forth and so on.
That report is not yet made official and whether in that present form it will be made official I do not know. But the findings have been published in England, and published in the United States. What did these economists find? There was no such deterioration and they exclude oil from their consideration as a special case. That is where there is obviously not a market system. With the other commodities they went down the list. Do the prices of primary products deteriorate in the postwar era ? Has there been such a trend? And the answer was a unanimous no. The facts do not suggest it. If you put oil into it there has indeed been a trend but it has been the opposite direction.
Well, sir, I would say that that is a very important finding and in that context it seems to me that the case for extending commodity agreements and rigidifying endlessly is not so strong as it may have been thought to be. Which is not to say we should not talk about it. It certainly is not to say that the short-term fluctuations in commodities are not great. I am not an economist. I do not understand the fluctuations. How can copper be at 100 in July and 50 in August and 140 in September. I mean there are problems here and clearly they cannot help the longrun increase of production. And I think we should talk about that kind of thing.
In some of these commodities I think probably there is too much speculation because there is not a big enough market. Prices do fluctuate, erratically. In the main my point would be that now that we have learned some facts that we did not necessarily know, we can now agree on, I think this will change the climate in which this issue is discussed. You would agree; where do we learn those facts? We learned them in the U.N. setting.
RESIGNATION IN CASE OF BASIC DISAGREEMENT
Senator Javits. Mr. Moynihan, just one other question, if I may, which is almost like asking you to swear allegiance to the Constitution, which you would do in due course, and that is the question I always like to ask of a high official.
Do you feel morally secure in your own heart that if you find yourself in basic disagreement with the President on a major question, you would feel you would rather resign rather than carry out an order which you did not believe?
Mr. MOYNIHAN. I have no problem with that, sir, in the terms that you have stated. I agree. I have served three Presidents, four really, because I served President Ford. But I do not have to say to you that I wish those questions came in as clear cut a form. But they did not. Senator Javits. Thank
you very much.
Senator CLARK. Senator Baker.
Senator BAKER. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I have great admiration for this nominee. I fully intend to support his nomination, and I will not prolong the hearings with questions at this time.
Mr. MOYNIHAN. Thank you.
you very much.
DESIRE FOR THE POSITION
Mr. Moynihan, I have a few questions. The first question, the most basic one is, Why do you want the job?
Mr. MOYNIHAN. I am not sure I want the job, Senator. I will be very proud to accept the job, the President having nominated me, if the Senate confirms me.
Senator CLARK. You are not sure whether you want the job?
POSITIVE PROGRAM FOR THE FUTURE
Senator CLARK. Well, let me try to be more specific. Many of the witnesses that came before this committee in recent weeks, when we had a series of hearings on the United Nations, talked about why the United States had to play a more positive role in the United Nationsthat we should have a positive program that we put forward in the United Nations, kind of innovative proposals on commodity pricing, South Africa, and other key issues.
Do you agree that the United States should come forward with such positive proposals in the next General Assembly session ?
Mr. MOYNIHAN. I absolutely agree. I mean this is a place to be used, this is a place where things of the utmost importance take place.
I do not want to make a speech about the International Atomic Energy Agency but that is a very important place. The Inspector General of the IAEA is probably the most important international civil servant the world has known. That is the man you depend on and I depend on and our grandchildren depend on, that man is seeing that plutonium is not slipped away from the atomic energy plants the world over. In the far reaches of the world that man's job is to see that inspection works, I absolutely agree. I think that is a question reasonably men can disagree on, about what is positive, what is helpful, and what is not helpful. But in terms of, ought this country stay in there and make our case and propose our alternatives when we have not got a majority, we think the majority is not right, my view is yes. We do. We do not walk away from the place. We do not settle for damage limitation, which is what you can do if you get sort of depressed about it. My view is just the opposite, that you make use of this institution. It is indispensable.
A colleague of mine once described the United Nations as the only institution that became indispensable before it became possible. But all right, we will find out. Certainly you do not want to walk away and do not hunker down. You play a part.
POSITIVE POSITION ON ECONOMIC ISSUES
Senator CLARK. I do not expect you to say things about the President's position, our Government's position in the next session. But, as I recall, the three issues that the U.N. is going to have to face most directly are the whole question of the new economic order, the question of South Africa, particularly mandatory sanctions, and the question of Israel.
Now, as you look at those three problem areas, what kind of positive proposals, what possible proposals might we put forth at the U.N.? What do you see as some of our alternatives?
Mr. MOYNIHAN. Well, in the first area I think the Secretary's speech at the OECD was a first rate speech. It was full of specifics and that is an agenda right there. As I am sure you know we have a special session of the Assembly coming up the first of September that is very much going to be involved with this. Just what setting, what is to be the setting in which you proceed on commodity suggestions and so forth is optional. It does not have to be the U.N. But the U.N. is as good a place as any:
You do know, sir, that there is now a report to the Secretary General of a committee established by him—the rapporteur was Richard Gardner of Columbia Law School-on a complete restructuring of the United Nations in its economic activities. My personal impression is it is a good report. A very responsible middle ranking sort of a person in the State Department, where I called him, to ask what do you think about this report said: “We think it is a pretty good report.” But he said, “We do not want to say so because if people got the idea we thought it was a good report they might be against it.” That is silly when you get to where people, knowing where is the United States, will be on the other side. That is no way to help out. But I fear there is a lot of truth in his remarks.
Can I say to you that there has been too much of a tendency to take interesting subjects out of the General Assembly, if it is interesting, if it is attractive, take it to another place, get a whole new set of political actors, who are not going to meet each other to talk about something else the next day. You almost ask for extreme positions when you take environment to Stockholm and population to Bucharest and food to Rome and the delegates are not the same people who the next day are going to be talking about something else together, and the way you gentlemen do in the Senate. You know you are going to have to see each other the next day so you act today with some in that moderation.
I think that this general idea is a good one.
On the second point you raised, I think beside saying I thought Ambassador Scali's statement yesterday was a wise one, I think I had better stay and wait to be instructed.
SITUATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
I hope I may be permitted to say that I have been reading a report. that Mr. Barton of the staff has made on a trip to the southern part of Africa. I am only about a third of the way through it, but I was very impressed with the things he had to say, and it seems to me that as we think of some of the horrors of that part of the world, we ought not to exclude some of the progress. I mean some of the things that Barton is being told by people down there about, as for example will we have majority rule this year, or must we wait 3 years?
Well, I can only read that as progress in terms of 10-years ago, when it was majority rule never. As a matter of fact, one can compromise between today and 3 years from today. That is not impossible for people. That is within the human capacity.
It may be things there are moving in a better direction than we think.
Senator CLARK. But it seems to me that you are saying that our positive proposal on South Africa ought to be to look at how much progress we have made in the past rather than talking about sanctions for the future.
What are the positive proposals we can make to the United Nations in regard to South Africa?
Mr. MOYNIHAN. May I say I should like not to speak to what we should do because I will be instructed. But it seems to me you can propose measures in a much more hopeful and much more positive posture if you accept, you know, that things are happening, that that deadlock, that intransigent absolute total unyielding position of 10 years ago is no more. That is the kind of progress you look for in the world. You welcome it, and I think you welcome it as a measure of the influence the United Nations has had. There is scarcely a more abominable social condition than apartheid. It is horrible, it is shameful, it is wrong. And yet, obviously, the people who impose it do not necessarily think that, and if they do not know that other people do, they are not much likely to change. Obviously exposure to the world view on this has had an effect.
Senator CLARK. I think you are quite right about that. To frame the question in a broader perspective, I am thinking of a way in which the United States could take a positive position on these issues that would find some acceptance by the majority. It seems to me that the issue before us right now is Namibia—whether or not the U.N. is going to take a stronger position and what the United States is going to do in relationship to that.
If we rule out mandatory sanctions—which may be wise, I am not sure—if all we are prepared to do is talk about how much we have done in the past, then it seems to me we will again be on the tail end.
Mr. MOYNIHAN. It seems to me that is not enough and I agree, sir. Senator CLARK. Good.
EFFECT OF POSITION ADVOCATED IN COMMENTARY ARTICLE
Let us talk about the Commentary article which several Members have mentioned. If we are going to make constructive proposals on commodity issues, if we are going to take a positive position with regard to South Africa, if we are going to try to take a leadership role in the General Assembly, wouldn't taking a position similar to what you have outlined in the Commentary article really make such efforts more difficult?
Let me state it another way, Mr. Moynihan.
Doesn't a position of confrontation, which it seems to me you have outlined in that article, in effect make it more difficult for us to take a leadership role with the nonalined majority?
Mr. MOYNIHAN. Senator, obviously I do not think so, and I could be wrong. I have been wrong about a lot of things in my life. But I would like to be very explicit on this. Which is that it seems to me that one of our problems in dealing with the new nations has been that we have never been able to distinguish between a principled statement of our views and a confrontation with them, a rejection of them. It suggests that we feel they are not somehow as politically mature as we, as politically equal as we think they are. They do not expect us always to agree with them. They assume we do not agree with them about some things. The posture of avoiding the statement, avoiding the justification of areas where we do not agree has not led to any general assumption by those nations that, well, there is in fact a larger area of agreement. It has tended to leave the impression there is no area of agreement. I have lived out in those parts of the world, I am an honorary fellow of the London School of Economics, I know that part of the world—not as well as 50 men you could name, but I am not unfamiliar with it—and I am saying to you that we should not be so polite as to be misunderstood. We should assume that other nations are serious in what they say, be serious in response and assume they will be serious about what we say and think. Far from confrontation, this is engagement, this is when you are seriously working together on issues, when you hope you will come up with some resolution, and you mean as much as possible to abide by what comes out. I use the parliamentary term opposition, and I spoke of a loyal opposition. I do not want to suggest that the General Assembly is a legislature. It is not. But I talk of finding ones self in the minority with respect to certain matters and vis-a-vis a majority, with which one shares an essentially political community.
I mean what do the gentlemen on your right do in the U.S. Senate? They are a minority. Do they give up? do they not come to hearings? do they go away? or do they not come in year after year, perhaps, state their position, offer alternatives, and in the end do they not end up sharing in the outcome? They do. They influence the outcome. That is what I meant by that, that is not confrontation.
Senator CLARK. I think others have questions and I have others that I will postpone until we go around again. But it seems to me the article goes somewhat beyond a statement of principle, as you have outlined it. I think the position that you have just stated is very defensible. But when you talk about “systematic attack,” to take one of the terms you used in the Commentary piece, when you talk about paying tribute to Mr. Ben Bella, presumably still imprisoned in Algeria, as the Algerian President of the General Assembly takes office, it seems to me you go beyond a statement of principle and you would be received in an antagonistic way. That would make it more difficult for us to take a leadership role. It seems to me that is confrontation—not a statement of principle.
Mr. MOYNIHAN. It seems to me you are right. I wrote that article in India. I have not read it since I wrote it, so you have me at a little bit of a disadvantage.
I want to be very clear on this, sir. You may not agree, most people probably would not agree, but I believe the totalitarian powers are expansive. I think they are expansionist even if not in the territorial sense. Ideologically they still mean to rule in the world and ideologi