« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
which suffices for other legislative acts. At present it is possible for a bare majority in Congress to abrogate a treaty by passing conflicting legislation or by failing to pass subsidiary legislation necessary to carry out its provisions. Such action leaves the treaty in existence as an international obligation, but as the law of the land the treaty is overruled and of no effect. In view of this undeniable fact, the committee feels that it would be better to have both Houses of Congress act upon the treaty by a majority in the first instance. The other method has and will lead to international obligations which cannot be fulfilled because of subsequent congressional action. This creates bad relationships with other countries. It impedes the ability of our negotiators to deal with foreign powers.
If treaties were considered by both Houses of Congress, there would be a short lapse of time between action by the two Houses. This would be to the good. It would give public opinion an opportunity to operate after the public had full facts of the result reached by the House first considering the treaty. It would tend to prevent secret or undiscussed action.
Dr. Arthur M. Holcombe, head of school of government, Harvard University, discussed this benefit of sharing treaty-making responsibility:
That is a very good reason for providing that treaties should be ratified by the ordinary process by which legislation is considered, and then you are sure of an interyal between consideration in one branch and consideration in the other branch, and a certain amount of publicity could be secured, and as a result of that, what you said would reinforce the argument that the procedure established for enacting laws is a better one, under given conditions, than the original procedure.
TWO-THIRDS RULE AND EXECUTIVE AGREEMENTS
Government must function. This Government must function in the international field. This necessity has forced Chief Executives, particularly during the past 50 years, with the support of the public, to enter into Executive agreements and to resort to the use of concurrent resolutions in order to accomplish the desire of the people. These devices are, of course, used because of a well-founded fear of not being able to secure approval by two-thirds of the Senate to the particular matter under consideration. Thus, the two-thirds provision has an increasing tendency of placing the important foreign affairs of this Nation more and more in the hands of the Executive to the exclusion of Congress.
Testimony before the committee revealed that up to 1939 the United States entered into nearly 2,000 international instruments. Of this number 1,182 were Executive agreements; 799 were treaties. The committee does not condemn the agreements as illegal. They were for the most part necessary for the welfare of the country and have subsequently been approved by Congress, but most of them should have been submitted as treaties. This, the committee believes, would have been done if they could have been considered as other legislation.
This is an unhealthy tendency. It has far-reaching and disastrous possibilities. The maintenance of the two-thirds rule instead of working to maintain a great power in the Senate is actually taking that power away from the Senate. Congress should act as a check upon the treaty-making powers of the President, but, by maintaining a rule which prevents negotiations which the people desire, the Congress is on the road to eliminating itself from this important function of government. The criticism herein contained of the two-thirds provision is made against the fundamental concept of the rule and because of the danger in its continuation. The criticism is not directed against the Senate or any Members thereof. The Senate would actually benefit by sharing treaty responsibility with the House. By doing that, it could be assured that all subjects which should be considered as treaties would be submitted as treaties. It could be assured of Congress retaining its power of ratifying or disapproving the action of the Executive in this important field of government. It would be assured of popular support of whatever course of action is finally taken.
Dr. William C. Johnstone, dean of school of government, George Washington University, made this observation:
This proposed change will diminish the use of Executive agreements by the President as a means of escaping minority obstruction of action that may accord with the will of the majority. Much friction between the President and Congress has arisen over the use of Executive agreements. Yet, a President desiring to carry out a foreign policy he believes accords with the interests of the American people, is often required to follow a course he may feel is morally wrong and constitutionally undesirable rather than risk defeat at the hands of a small Senate minority. Indeed, the President is even prevented from putting his foreign policy to the test of majority rule by the danger of minority defeat. The proposed change would establish a more effective working relationship between the President and Congress in a field in which Congress, of necessity, must take an increasing interest and increasing action.
PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS WOULD BE INCREASED
A full understanding and a healthy discussion of foreign affairs is necessary and vital for the well-being of the Nation. Several witnesses before the committee demonstrated beyond question that the two-thirds rule is impeding public interest and discussion of international affairs. According to the witnesses, many people feel that nothing is to be gained by their study or discussion of international relations because the popular will cannot govern under the provision of the Constitution. The committee feels that the public would better inform itself, and public opinion would more clearly crystallize if the two-thirds rule were repealed in favor of action by Congress,
The committee has had benefit of expert testimony from some of the Nation's most eminent authorities on this subject. The twothirds rule has been a handicap to all Presidents and all Secretaries of State. The committee is of the opinion that the majority of the people are in favor of this resolution.
H. Repts., 79-1, vol. 1-452
AMERICAN INTERPARLIAMENTARY CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 13, 1945.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Mr. JARMAN, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, submitted the
[To accompany H. Res. 37)
The Committee on Foreign Affairs, to whom was referred the resolution (H. Res. 37) expressing the approval of the House of Representatives of certain resolutions adopted at Santiago, Chile, on April 15, 1944, looking toward the establishment of an American Interparliamentary Congress, having considered the same, report favorably and unanimously thereon without amendment and recommend that the resolution do pass.
The Committee on Foreign Affairs considered House Resolution 37 in an open hearing on February 13, 1945, during which testimony in favor of its passage was given by its author, the Honorable Pete Jarman, and the Honorable Luther A. Johnson, who emphasized the importance of its early adoption in view of the impending InterAmerican Conference on Problems of War and Peace which will convene at Mexico City, Mexico, on February 21, 1945.
During his testimony, Mr. Jarman described the purpose of his resolution as a step toward the setting up in this hemisphere of an American Interparliamentary Congress in line with the resolutions which were adopted on April 15, 1944, at Santiago, Chile, at a session attended by himself, and by the Honorable Robert B. Chiperfield as delegates representing the House of Representatives of the United States. These resolutions are contained in the language of House Resolution 37, and are as follows:
1. The parliamentary, delegations of Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, and Chile agree to promote through their respective Parliaments a movement of continental unity;
2. To accomplish such project, they propose the establishment of an American Interparliamentary Congress for which the delegates will solicit the approval of their respective Parliaments;
3. To set up a permanent committee composed of the chairmen of the attending delegations, presided over by Don Pedro Castelblanco, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, for the purpose of organizing and fixing the time, place, and subject matter of the Interparliamentary Congress of America;
4. To communicate those resolutions to all the countries on the American Continents and invite the countries whose Parliaments were not represented to adhere to these resolutions.
Therefore, the Permanent Committee to Promote American Unity Through the Parliaments, and in compliance with the third resolution, is constituted as follows: President, Pedro Castelblanco, of Chile; and members, Messrs. Luis Carlos Mese, of Colombia; Jose Albertassi Munoz, of Costa Rica; Jose Erasmo Pacheco, of El Salvador; Pete Jarman, of the United States; Carlos F. Madrazo, of Mexico; Carlos Morales, of Nicaragua; Roberto Jimenez, of Panama; Carlos Sayan Alverez, of Peru; and Luis Batlle Berres, of Uruguay.
Copies of letters from Acting Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., and Acting Secretary of State Joseph C. Grew, favoring the "general aims and purposes of the resolution" sent to Chairman Bloom under (lates of November 1, 1944, and February 9, 1945, are berewith incorporated in this report:
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 9, 1945 The Honorable SOL Bloom,
House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. Bloom: With further reference to my letter of February 6 regarding House Resolution 37, I am enclosing herewith a copy of a letter to you dated November 1, 1944, reporting on House Resolution 646, which was submitted to the last Congress and whose wording is identical with that of House Resolution 37.
The Department of State is still of the opinion, as stated in the letter of No vember 1, that the general aims and purposes of the resolution merit sympathetic consideration. Sincerely yours,
JOSEPH C. GREW, Acting Secretary.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, November 1, 1944. The Honorable SoL BLOOM,
House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. Bloom: Under date of September 26, 1944, I acknowledged receipt of your letter of September 22, 1944, transmitting for the comment of the Department copies of House Resolution 646, expressing the approval of the House of Representatives of certain resolutions adopted at Santiago, Chile, on April 15, 1944, looking toward the establishment of an American Interparliamentary Congress.
This Department's efforts to promote continental unity are so well known as to need no elaboration, and I scarcely need say that we are continuously and force. fully engaged in countless projects to that end. I have examined the language of the aforesaid resolutions adopted at Santiago, Chile, and I note that the resolutions merely contemplate the designation of a committee for the purpose of organizing and fixing the time, place, and subject matter of the Interparliamentary Congress of America. Although the House may desire more detailed information regarding the scope and nature of the proposed American Interparliamentary Congress before giving formal approval through legislative action, and although there exist obvious difficulties in the way of establishing such a congress during the war, I nevertheless believe that the general aims and purposes of the resolution merit sympathetic consideration. I am not, however, commenting in detail on the method of procedure indicated in the resolution, as it seems to me that, should the Congress desire to offer its collaboration in such a proposed organization, the means for effectuating such a collaboration should be chosen by the Congress itself.
The Department has been informed by the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours,
EDWARD R. STETTINIUS, Jr.,
! Acting Secretary.