PPS Files, Lot 64 D 563

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson) to the Secretary of State


Subject: Senator Flanders’ Scheduled Visit of March 22 Re Disarmament

Attached (Tab A) is a letter of March 6 from Senator Flanders to you,1 calling attention to his recent efforts in the disarmament field. Your reply (Tab B) on March 201 invited him to come in and discuss the subject with you. Senator Flanders responded to this invitation very quickly and accordingly a meeting was set for March 22.
Senator Flanders and 22 other Members of Congress addressed a letter to the President on February 26 (Tab C),2 calling on him to project the views he expressed to the United Nations General Assembly on October 24, 1950,3 with further action. The President replied on March 15 [14] (Tab D),4 reviewing our efforts to date, and agreeing to discuss the matter further on his return.
It is reported that Senator Flanders and Representative Battle are thinking of introducing a resolution on the subject.
Senator Flanders addressed a letter to the editor of the Washington Post on March 14 on the subject (Tab E)1 referring to the State Department as unimaginative and atrophied.
For these reasons, it would be useful to apprise Senator Flanders and his colleagues of the work that has been done in the disarmament field and of the complexities of the subject of which they now seem unaware. This does not have to be done all at one time at this first meeting. It would be useful if we could make them sufficiently aware of the problems with which we have been faced and of the sincerity of our efforts so that their efforts could be worded and timed to support us rather than embarrass us. At this initial meeting, we are not now in a position to discuss fully the thinking of Mr. Nitze’s group on future possibilities in this field, but we could arrange for subsequent discussions with Messrs. Nash, and myself to review with them our thinking in connection with the studies of the United Nations Committee of 12 regarding the coordination of the Atomic Energy Commission and the Commission for Conventional Armaments.
It is understood that Senator Flanders and his group were a little disappointed in the President’s reply to their letter as a little [Page 467]lacking in warmth and cordiality. They are anxious to get a pat on the back for their interest in the subject and would like to feel that their efforts complement rather than conflict with those of the Executive Branch of the Government.
For purposes of the present meeting, I think Senator Flanders will feel the meeting has been satisfactory from his standpoint if you express active interest in the general subject and have a few appropriate words of praise for the worth-whileness of his efforts in this field.
In light of the above, it is suggested that you make the following specific points:
The roadblocks in the path of achieving disarmament are not of our choosing, in spite of our efforts, and require our rearming.
Despite the roadblocks and the threat they pose, we will also continue our efforts for genuine disarmament which is a fundamental objective of our foreign policy.
We welcome the interest and views of Senator Flanders, his colleagues, and other members of Congress and will be happy to think further with them on the problem in subsequent meetings.

John D. Hickerson
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, March 26, 1951, p. 516.
  4. For text, see GA(V), Plenary, pp. 245–247, or Department of State Bulletin, November 6, 1950, pp. 719–722.
  5. For text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1951, pp. 182–185, or Department of State Bulletin, March 26, 1951, pp. 514–516.
  6. Not printed.