Editorial Note

On July 18 the International Court of Justice at The Hague delivered an advisory opinion in the second phase of a case arising from allegations of human rights violations in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania and concerning the interpretation of the Treaties of Peace with those countries. The Court ruled that the Treaties of Peace did not empower the United Nations Secretary-General to appoint an impartial Treaty Commission member where the accused governments had refused to participate by designating their own members for the Treaty Commissions. For the text of the effective portions of the Court’s advisory opinion of July 18, see American Foreign Policy, Basic Documents, 1950–1955, volume II, pages 2078–2079. Regarding the advisory opinion of the Court rendered on March 30, 1950, in the first phase of this same case, see the editorial note, page 12.

Earlier, on June 29, the Department of State issued to the press a statement reviewing the major steps in the dispute arising out of charges by the United States and other Applied Powers that Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania were violating the human rights provisions of the Treaties of Peace. The statement to the press included a summary and quotations from the argumentation made before the International Court by Benjamin V. Cohen, who had been appointed by President Truman as the representative of the United States in the case. For the text of the statement, see Department of State Bulletin, August 7, 1950, pages 233–235.

In a statement issued to the press on July 21, Secretary of State Acheson commented on the current status of the efforts being made with respect to the abuse of human rights in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. The Secretary briefly reviewed the course of the dispute, took note of advisory opinions of the International Court, indicated the likelihood of further action by the United Nations General Assembly in the case, and pledged that the United States Government would “bring to light and place before the conscience of mankind the facts relating to the denial of human rights by the accused Governments.” For the text of the Secretary’s statement, see ibid., July 31, 1950, pages 190–191.