Secretary’s Staff Meetings, lot 63 D 75, “February 1953”

Memorandum of Conversation1

  • Subject:
  • Summary of Staff Meeting, 9:30 A.M., General Smith’s Office
  • Participants:
  • General Smith
  • Mr. Lourie
  • Mr. Matthews
  • Mr. Martin
  • Mr. Armstrong
  • Mr. Nitze
  • Mr. Phleger
  • Mr. Bohlen
  • Mr. McCardle
  • Mr. Morton
  • Mr. MacArthur
  • Mr. McWilliams
  • Mr. O’Connor

[Here follow discussion of the situation in Burma, a report by Lourie on various Congressional matters, discussion of legal implications with respect to economic blockades in peacetime and with respect to the right of the Executive branch to extend or terminate a treaty, and discussion of the break in relations between Israel and the Soviet Union.]

Item 6. Bricker Resolution

Mr. Morton reported we had been notified of the beginning of hearings on the Bricker Resolution2 which limits the treaty making power of the Executive. Mr. Morton said the Secretary would have to lead off the Administration’s opposition to this amendment.

Mr. Phleger said he would recommend postponing this matter in its entirety if possible but if this was not possible, he suggested that the proponents of the measure be heard first which would consume considerable time. He said we have all the material and will have it ready for the Secretary if he does have to testify in the near future.

[Page 1781]

Mr. Morton was asked to see what he could do about putting the hearings off.3

Mr. Nitze said he thought this whole thing was tied up in a position of the Administration on such treaties as Genocide and Human Rights—and what we needed was a decision by this Administration as to whether they would continue to back these treaties. Mr. Nitze said he hoped it did not since the Soviets did not join either and they are meaningless.

General Smith said he thought S/P should come up with a plan of tactics to be followed in this regard.

[Here follows discussion of the legislative schedule regarding the Mutual Security Act.]

  1. The author of the memorandum is not identified. Presumably it was William J. McWilliams, Director of the Executive Secretariat.
  2. On Feb. 12 Senator William Langer (R.–N.D.), in a letter to Secretary Dulles, announced that a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary would begin hearings on S.J. Res. 1 and S. J. Res. 43 on Feb. 18 and invited the Secretary of State to appear before the subcommittee. Senator Langer was chairman of both the subcommittee and the Committee on the Judiciary. (711.03/2–1253)
  3. In a letter of Feb. 17 to Senator Langer, Assistant Secretary Morton said that Secretary Dulles would appreciate having an opportunity to appear before the subcommittee and to provide certain oral and written statements. He requested that Secretary Dulles be permitted to appear at a later date, the exact time to be determined as a result of discussion with the subcommittee. (711.03/2–1253) The subcommittee conducted its hearings on Feb. 18, 19, and 24, Mar. 4, 10, 16, 27, and 31, and Apr. 6–11. In addition to Senator Langer, the subcommittee included Everett M. Dirksen (R.–Ill.), John Marshall Butler (R.–Md.), Harley M. Kilgore (D.–W.Va.), and Estes Kefauver (D.–Tenn.). For the record of the testimony before the subcommittee, see U.S. Senate, Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary on S.J. Res. 1 and S.J. Res. 43, 83d Cong., 1st sess. Regarding Secretary Dulles’ testimony before the subcommittee on Apr. 7, see his memorandum of Mar. 31 to the President, p. 1796.