Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman file

Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting, Held at the White House, 10 a.m., March 13, 19531

  • The following were present:
    • President Eisenhower
    • Vice President Nixon
    • Secretary Dulles
    • Secretary Humphrey
    • Secretary Wilson
    • Mrs. Hobby
    • Director Dodge
    • Mr. Stassen
    • Governor Adams
    • Attorney General Brownell
    • Hon. Charles R. Hook, Acting Postmaster General
    • Secretary McKay
    • Secretary Benson
    • Secretary Weeks
    • Secretary Durkin
    • Gen. Persons
    • Mr. C. D. Jackson
    • Mr. Cutler
    • Mr. Hughes
    • Mr. Shanley

(Mr. Hauge and Mr. Flemming attended during discussion of Items 1–4.)

[Here follows discussion of Federal Government purchases of land in the Falcon Dam area and of foreign economic policy.]

3. Bricker Amendment. Mr. Dulles noted again the possibility of a head-on collision between the Administration and the supporters of Senator Bricker’s amendment, and urged that every effort be made to find a suitable alternative. He described the amendment as “impossible” even if revised, but he thought the Bricker group had already accomplished much of its purpose by calling public attention to the potential danger of treaty-made law.2

The Vice President suggested the possibility of a resolution as an alternative which would express the sense of the Bricker objectives. Mr. Stassen noted a study by a section of the American Bar Association which favored a “reserve” paragraph in treaties.3

It was agreed that Mr. Humphrey would discuss the matter with Senator Bricker.

This discussion led to further comment on the difficulties created for the Administration by continuing Congressional investigations. Mr. Weeks commented that such investigations would soon reflect on this Administration rather than on the past one. The President commented on the need for Congress and the Administration to cooperate in building an admirable record by 1954 or run the risk of losing control of Congress. The President suggested that Cabinet Members inform General Persons of any individuals not in Government who might on occasion be helpful in promoting good relations with Congress.

[Here follows discussion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, various kinds of controls recommended by the Defense Mobilization Board, matters related to the Civil Service Commission, the reorganization of the Federal Security Administration, and a letter which the President had recently received from Ambassador Draper.]

  1. Prepared by Minnich.
  2. In his book Ordeal of Power, p. 143, Emmet John Hughes, commenting on this meeting, quoted Secretary Dulles as saying with respect to the Democrats’ position on the Bricker Amendment: “They’re being damn smart. They’re casting themselves in the role of Eisenhower supporters, just the way they played it in the declaration of Yalta.”
  3. This study has not been further identified.