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interested in this matter that we are going to dispose of this month. I have been getting letters from various agencies suddenly wanting to be heard. This matter was up at the last session of Congress and testimony was taken, one delay after another, with the result that we adjourned without taking any action at all. I want the record to show I want the staff to notify any bar association or any individuals or any agency or any member of the Cabinet to have any statement that they want to file or any testimony they want to give in by the 17th day of March. Anybody who wants to be heard before that time, Mr. Smithey, we will hear him any day of the week except Sunday, at 10 o'clock in the morning. If some of the agencies cannot come in at any other time, they can come in Saturday. I want you to set this before the subcommittee for the 24th of March for action by the subcommittee.
In the meantime from the 17th on, give each member of the subcommittee a copy of all the testimony and place it upon the agenda for final action for the meeting of the 30th day of March. Of course, that is subject to whether the full committee will act, as Senator Butler here knows, but I rather think this full committee will want to dispose of it. Is that not your idea?
Senator BUTLER. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, I want to make it plain we are not going to have any delay if we can help it. Have I made myself clear on this?
Mr. SMITHEY. You certainly have, sir.
Mr. SMITHEY. Rev. Charles F. Boss, Jr., of the Board of World Peace of the Methodist Church.
STATEMENT OF CHARLES F. BOSS, JR., EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF
THE BOARD OF WORLD PEACE OF THE METHODIST CHURCH
Reverend Boss. My name is Rev. Charles F. Boss, Jr., executive secretary of the Board of World Peace of the Methodist Church.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I wish to express my thanks to the committee for the opportunity of appearing as a witness. The democratic process and freedoms arising from our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and our common law, are values which we greatly cherish. Despite widespread repressions placed upon the freedoms in various parts of the world, we should be grateful and thankful to God and to our forefathers that the process permits its citizens and their organizations to appear before the committees of the Congress for the purpose of expressing their views during the process of the formulation of our laws.
I have just come from the Washington conference, composed of representatives of some 125 different organizations called together under the auspices of the American Association for the United Nations. I would like to say that there was a very high degree of unanimity in the policies and actions adopted by this conference. The conference adopted a strong statement on the Bricker resolutionI should say in opposition to it. I shall not present this, since a delegation from the American Association for the United Nations is requesting a hearing for this purpose.
I should like to interpolate here and say that the three major branches of the churches were well represented, the Roman Catholic, the Jewish, and Protestant; that the CIO had'its delegate representative there, the American Federation of Labor had, and a very large number of other organizations, citizens organizations of various types, and the well-known organizations of the country. They came from all the States. For that reason I shall be glad to give this little report and hope that their delegation will be heard.
What leads me to testify is my belief that the proposed amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 1, is unnecessary, adds little or nothing by way of protection to the United States while, on the other hand, it would seriously hamper the treaty-making process now provided for by our Constitution. This process for 164 years—in peacetime and in wartime-has proved its worth, demonstrated its flexibility, and assured the Nation of its value in protecting domestic security.
The proposed amendment, I believe, is unnecessary. Under the present constitutional procedure no treaty can become the law of the United States unless it has been ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Senate. Furthermore, the Senate cannot only reject any treaty submitted to it, but it can attach to any such proposed treaty reservations which the Senate may deem to be in the interests of the Nation.
Senator McCARRAN. Does that statement you have just made apply to executive agreements ?
Reverend Boss. Yes, sir.
Senator McCARRAN. You know better than that. You know it does not apply to executive agreements because the Senate does not have anything to do with executive agreements. What is the use of trying to tell this committee that?
Reverend Boss. Treaties that are made when they become treaties of the United States
Senator McCARRAN. I am talking about executive agreements.
Reverend Boss. Well, if you use the words "executive agreements” outside of the terms of the treaty that I have used here, then you have a different category.
Senator McCARRAN. Certainly, that is when the Bricker amendment comes into existence.
Reverend Boss. Well, I shall proceed, because I still do not believe that the history of our treatymaking and agreements reveals that a constitutional amendment would necessarily improve the situation.
Are these safeguards adequate? I think the answer is to be found in the history of our treatymaking. I understand that there has been only one instance in our history when a treaty negotiated by the United States (i. e., with Canada) has placed limitations upon the right of a State; this, in the case of the State of Missouri against an individual named Holland.
Our present constitutional law provides the necessary flexibility, and the timing facility required by the Chief Executive, the Secretary of State, and the Ambassadors in the making of treaties, while it provides the essential checks upon such treaties by its requirement for ratification of a two-thirds vote of the Senate before such treaties can become the law of the land. An outstanding illustration of the Senate's power in treatymaking may be cited in the failure of the United
States Senate to ratify the covenant of the League of Nations, although the covenant had been negotiated by the Chief Executive.
A more enlightened Senate in 1945 ratified the United Nations Charter, with only two dissenting votes.
Since the Senate of the United States does have the power of ratification, the power to enact reservations or to reject treaties, it is difficult to see how any gain would result from the proposed amendment were it adopted; on the other hand, there would be, we believe, losses in the limitations which the proposed amendment would place upon the Chief Executive and the executive branch of our Government in protecting the interests of the United States. It would destroy timeliness, flexibility of action, and opportunity for swift action when these are needed in the interest of the Nation.
Senator BUTLER. Has England and the other leading powers of the world suffered from that same complaint ?
Reverend Boss. The governments of other nations are not constituted as we are.
Senator BUTLER. That is no answer to the question. Do you not know that the United States is possibly the only nation in the world where treaties become the law of the land without any implementation at all by Congress in most cases and the Parliament in England and other countries must enact laws to carry out treaties and implement them, resulting in the delays you are complaining of?
Reverend Boss. True, but you also have in the British Government the opportunity to change the government in the way the United States does not. We have a quadrennium.
Senator BUTLER. We have precisely that same opportunity. It has been exercised on many occasions. We change our House every other year, if we want to. We check our President by that. They check theirs by the fall of the Cabinet. We check ours by the fall of the House. I see no great difference there.
Reverend Boss. You are speaking of something that may happen in a very short time. No government can be challenged on a moment in the United States. You do have to wait 2 years for a change; in the Senate even longer, or 4 years for the President. I am pointing out there are a number of differences between our Government and the Government of England.
Senator BUTLER. There are a number of differences, but they are not substantial in the respect in which we are treating them.
Reverend Boss. Do you feel in the course of our history we have suffered more by the process of treatymaking and agreement that we have than Great Britain has?
Senator BUTLER. I think in the last 10 years we have.
Senator McCARRAN. In the last 10 years the Congress has suffered because of Executive agreements on which the Congress of the United States was never called in.
Reverend Boss. I think it has been possible for an Executive at times to overreach his responsibility. On the other hand, I believe our batting average will stand high among the nations with the form of government we have and the processes we are using. There are certainly times, I am sure you will admit there are times, when quick action has been possible by Executives in matters of security, which perhaps would have been slowed down by a constitutional amendment which
would need to bring back a Congress if it is not meeting, and I cannot see that the Chief Executive would have the flexibility which seems to me to be necessary in his office.
Senator BUTLER. Have you given thought to this phase of the situation, this phase that these agreements would be international obligations just as binding as any other national obligation but it would not be binding entirely; it will bind externally, not internally, until approved by two-thirds of the Senate? What is wrong with this amendment to protect the people of the United States?
Reverend Boss. It can be done by the close operations which I think the Executives carry on between the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate. I myself at one period along in the war came and met with a whole group of Senators representing three different parties with the view to relaying and presenting, and we did so in a meeting of 342 hours, when we discussed this matter of a much closer relationship which in our judgment at that time ought to exist. But we did not believe that a constitutional amendment was necessary.
Senator BUTLER. Do you want the inalienable rights of the people protected under the Constitution to be guarded by such a flimsy arrangement as that?
Reverend Boss. Well, it is a question whether it is a flimsy arrangement that has lasted for 164 years without amendment.
Senator BUTLER. Any arrangement that you can get the ear of the President or the Secretary of State or somebody else rather than have it in the basic law is flimsy in my opinion.
Reverend Boss. I think the answer is a close working relationship between the Executive and the executive department of the Government and the Congress of the United States and there should be that close working relationship.
Senator BUTLER. Suppose there is not? Reverend Boss. If there is not, then we should be very careful about whom we elect to the Congress and whom we elect to the Presidency. Senator BUTLER. In the meantime the damage is done. Reverend Boss. I have not noted that much damage has been done. I have felt as we look at the history of our country and its treatymaking and agreements that we have had a very high batting average with regard to the effectiveness of our international relations. Senator BUTLER. I do not like the term "batting average” because the 1 percent you lose may be the 1 percent that would undo you. I do not think we ought to put our rights on the basis of averages. We ought to have them, and we ought to protect them.
Reverend Boss. It appears to me that the internal security of the United States has been well protected.
I want to say in this last paragraph which may bring out something of my feeling here of faith in our leaders, while
Senator BUTLER. Let me break it just there. The founders of this Nation and the several States at the time of the ratification of the Constitution did not have that faith you have in them. They put on the first 10 amendments before they even ratified the Constitution, didn't they? Reverend Boss. Of course. Senator BUTLER. Why do you think they did that?
Reverend Boss. They didn't have faith in a lot of things, but we have had 164 years of this and practice on it. They had a very short time.
Senator BUTLER. In other words, you would let man govern the affairs rather than law, is that your idea?
Reverend Boss. Men always have to govern affairs.
Reverend Boss. They can violate laws. They can misuse laws, they can disagree about laws that they have developed, but men in the end have to govern.
Senator BUTLER. That is true. When you have it in the basic law, if they violate the law, they can be called to account for it, and it can be ratified, whereas in the past 10 or 15 years we have not even known of some of these agreements. We have not had opportunity to note. I think they have been very disastrous to this country.
Reverend Boss. There is a political difference there, of course, which has some partisan in it.
Senator BUTLER. Do you believe in secret negotiation and secret treaties? Is that political, is that partisanship?
Reverend Boss. I believe in a close relationship between the congressional bodies of Congress who are responsible for international affairs and the executive branch as I have stated.
Senator BUTLER. Do you believe in the Chief Executive of this country going off to any other country of the world and making a secret agreement where not even a member is left in the State Department, much less the Congress or any other department of the Government who knows the details of the agreement?
Reverend Boss. That is the basis on which our Nation has been operating and is operating. There can be secret agreements, but I believe that any agreement which is to be made, unless it is something that has to be done by an executive assuming responsibility at that moment, ought to be cleared with the appropriate committees of the Congress.
Senator MoCARRAN. If it is not cleared by the appropriate committees?
Reverend Boss. We run that risk.
Senator McCARRAN. That is the reason we are going to try to stop that risk.
Senator BUTLER. In other words, you believe the President of the United States can violate the Constitution any time he wants to do it and just make agreements as he sees fit and as he thinks is best for this country?
Reverend Boss. No, but there is also the possibility of losses to our country and the insecurity unless we can give to the executive branch of the Government some responsibility in the matter of agreements made.
Now, the Senate is always able to repudiate such agreements. It does not have to make them the law of the land, and it has its rights in this matter on the matter of treatymaking; Executives have to assume responsibility at some point.
Senator BUTLER. The Supreme Court has held in the Pink case they are the law of the land and just as binding as a treaty ratified by the United States Senate and they have been binding on domestic affairs and have set aside the provisions of the fifth amendment in