L/UNA Files

Draft Principal Witness Statement For Use Before a Congressional Committee

Assistant Secretary McFall1 has submitted by letter the request of the Department of State for certain changes in S. 716. The majority of those requests are of a technical nature and the representatives of the Visa and Passport Divisions are prepared to testify in detail on them if the Committee wishes to hear them. I am here to present in greater detail, if the Committee wishes to have them, the Department’s comments on the first change proposed by Mr. McFall’s letter, a change dealing with the law governing the admission of three groups of individuals associated with the United Nations:

representatives of the press, radio and similar information agencies; representatives of non-governmental organizations associated with the UN;

persons invited by the UN or organs of the UN to appear.

The admission of these three groups of people as promptly as possible after their application for visas is important for the following reasons:

Failure to so admit them embarrasses the voicing of United States views on the freedom of the press and public information, and also embarrasses the voicing of U.S. views on freedom of movement with individuals in all nations.
To carry out the obligations of the U.S. under the Headquarters Site Agreement with the United Nations.
To counteract certain Russian policies and propaganda aimed at undermining the efforts of the United States to contribute to making the UN an effective international organization for security.

As the Bill is drafted these three groups of people may be admitted provided the Consul to whom they apply for visas recommends their admission and the Attorney General approves the recommendation. This procedure takes the place of the present Ninth Proviso procedure under which the Secretary of State recommends the admission to the Attorney General.2 As the procedure envisaged by S. 716 would be more time-consuming than the present Ninth Proviso procedure and [Page 50] as the Department considers that the present Ninth Proviso procedure involves more delays than the Headquarters Agreement contemplated, it is considered desirable from a practical point of view as well as necessary under the provisions of the Headquarters Agreement to exempt these three groups of people from the exclusion and deportation provisions of the Bill to the same extent that representatives of foreign governments to the UN and officials of the UN are exempted from the exclusion and deportation provisions of the Bill.

  1. Jack K. McFall, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations.
  2. The “Ninth Proviso” occurs in the Act of February 5, 1917, captioned “An Act to regulate the immigration of aliens to, and the residence of aliens in, the United States.” (39 Stat. 874) There were 10 “provisos” to Section 3 of the Act (39 Stat. 877, 878). The ninth of these provided “That the Commissioner General of Immigration with the approval of the Secretary of Labor shall issue rules and prescribe conditions, including exaction of such bonds as may be necessary, to control and regulate the admission and return of otherwise inadmissible aliens applying for temporary admission”. For documentation regarding Ninth Proviso practice in 1950, within the concern of the Department of State, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. ii, pp. 46 ff.