L/T files, “Bricker Amendment”

Paper Prepared in the Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Treaty Affairs


Views of U.S. Departments and Agencies on S.J. Res. 1 and S.J. Res. 2

The views of the various Executive departments and agencies as indicated in communications addressed to the President in reply to his memorandum of February 25, 19531 relative to S.J. Res. 1 and S.J. Res. 2 are summarized below:

[Page 1787]

Atomic Energy Commission—Resolutions could cast doubt on status of important existing arrangements in atomic energy and impede negotiation in future. Concerned with effect of S.J. Res. 2 on long-term uranium procurement arrangements with other governments, some “Top Secret”. Postponement requested.

Central Intelligence Agency—Resolutions could be of serious concern if deemed to cover agreements on intelligence matters, most of which should be “classified” in interest of security. Any limitation on Executive agreements would adversely affect CIA.

Civil Aeronautics Board—There are 44 air transport service agreements in addition to important multilateral agreements such as ICAO, the Warsaw Convention and the Geneva Convention, which have an important bearing on aviation matters in this country and which might be affected by the resolutions. It should be determined where balance of public interest lies before any action is taken. Postponement requested.

Defense Department—Statement being coordinated. Senate Committee has been advised Department wishes to be heard. At least one month’s study needed.

Defense Materials Procurement Agency—Strategic and critical materials procurement arrangements would be subject to undesirable limitations. “Executive or other agreements” is too broad a term—could refer to contracts. Requests 30-day extension.

Defense Mobilization, Office of— Flexibility in negotiations of agreements for mobilization of economic and military resources for national defense is essential in war or emergency. Cites National Resources Board with Canada as extremely effective, but set up by agreement whose constitutionality might be questionable under Resolutions. Will elaborate material for consolidation with other statements if desired.

Federal Communications Commission—Resolutions would adversely affect FCC activities now carried on pursuant to 38 treaties and other agreements and its activities with the International Telecommunication Union; they would cast doubt on existing agreements. Time extension requested.

Federal Security Agency—Request to testify being made. Statements under preparation; time extension requested. Chief areas of interest: (1) World Health Organization and Sanitary Regulations, especially article on disputes; (2) UN matters bearing on health, education, security, welfare; (3) ILO activities, as social security convention; (4) Executive agreements under TCA, MSA, Fulbright, Smith-Mundt, and Foreign Agricultural Acts (Mexican workers); (5) boundary and water commissions; (6) treaties and agreements on health, welfare, etc., as narcotics and white slavery treaties, and exchange of persons; (7) effect of Sec. 4 on administrative working [Page 1788] arrangements on health or movement of drugs and food across boundaries.

Interior Department—Fish, wildlife, water and boundary matters, technical assistance, trade, mines, and territorial matters under Department’s jurisdiction would be affected. Study is under way.

Justice Department—Statement under preparation. Postponement desired.

Labor Department—Statement (tentative) was forwarded.

ILOS.J. Res. 1, Sec. 2, would affect ILO activities; S.J. Res. 2 would have no impact. ILO goals and methods described. Treaties dealing with domestic matters (e.g., minimum wages) are justified. U.S. has ratified only 3 conventions, all maritime; Senate has approved 4 more. Conventions are drafted to avoid abrogating constitutional rights; have Federal-State clauses. Arts. 24–34 of ILO Constitution re complaints of failure to secure observance could be counter to Sec. 2.

Migrant Labor Agreements—Now negotiated under broad Congressional legislation. Speedy and decisive action is imperative. S.J. Res. 1 would subject such agreements to delays leading to changes, retractions, repudiations, etc. Art. 30 of Migrant Labor Agreement of 1951 re submission of disputes to a joint U.S.-Mexican board could be contrary to Sec. 2.

Trade Agreements—Nothing in present handling that calls for further restrictions.

Mutual Security Agency—Postponement requested. Observations:

(1) S.J. Res. 2 very disadvantageous on MSA, ECA, and TCA agreements. Rights of access for American citizens and protective rights given by other countries in such agreements would not willingly be given without assurance of continuance of agreement for reasonable time. Sec. 4 of S.J. Res. 1 would make authority to negotiate questionable. (2) Use of military bases, exemption of U.S. forces from foreign process, etc., are included in MSA agreements. Implementing details must be undisclosed. Congressional debate might make it impossible to negotiate. Reciprocity provisions of status of forces agreements might run counter to Secs. 2 and 1 of S.J. Res. 1. (3) American private investment abroad needs protection of commercial treaties whose reciprocal rights might be counter to Secs. 1 and 2. (4) Tentative agreements (as Lisbon Agreement with French during 1952 NATO meeting2) are necessary; might be unconstitutional under Sec. 4.

Reconstruction Finance Corporation—Not affected by S.J. Res. 1. Time limit and publication features of S.J. Res. 2 would adversely affect agreements for abaca production, tin purchasing, and strategic and critical materials procurement. If S.J. Res. 2 appears likely [Page 1789] to pass, attempt should be made to exempt such agreements or contracts.

Securities and Exchange Commission—International negotiations re investments, the financial community, and corporate disclosure policies would be hampered or frustrated. Best interest of public would suffer. Will comment more fully if desired.

The following agencies indicated that they were not directly affected by the Resolutions:

  • American National Red Cross
  • Civil Service Commission
  • Defense Transport Administration
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
  • Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
  • Federal Power Commission
  • Federal Reserve System
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Fine Arts Commission
  • Housing and Home Finance Agency
  • Indian Claims Commission
  • National Capital Planning Commission
  • National Gallery of Art
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • National Mediation Board
  • National Science Foundation
  • Railroad Retirement Board
  • Small Defense Plants Administration
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Tariff Commission
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • War Claims Commission

The Panama Canal Co. was not prepared to state its views at the time. National Security Resources Board, in process of liquidating, will submit memorandum later.

  1. Ante, p. 1782.
  2. Reference is to the Ninth Session of the North Atlantic Council, held at Lisbon, Feb. 20–25, 1952; for documentation, see vol. v, Part 1, pp. 107 ff.