Eisenhower Library, Dulles papers, “Bricker Amendment”

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Attorney General (Brownell)1

The Secretary talked with the Attorney General on the phone, since he was rushing to leave town, about a report which Sherman Adams had given the Secretary that the Congressional leaders were pushing the President on the Bricker amendment, and wanted the Secretary to discuss the political angles with the Attorney General.

The Attorney General said that Bricker had phoned and spoken to his Deputy, Mr. Rogers2 in his absence, and was furious because Langer and Wiley were supporting the President. He indicated to Rogers that he didn’t think he could get the bill out of Committee.

The Secretary said that it was reported out of committee, but Langer had added some gimmick so that it wouldn’t actually be reported out until the 13th. Phleger said that the bill has been amended with all the worst features of both viewpoints. The Attorney General said the last word he had from the President was to try to keep it in Committee, but he will be back on Tuesday and they will talk about it. Taft was supposed to draft some new language [Page 1813] but probably his illness has prevented it. It was taken up at the Leaders meeting today and a strong play was made for compromise.3 The Secretary said that the White House felt that Phleger was so committed he could not work on a compromise but maybe Brownell could. The Secretary said that he was not persuaded to compromise, he did not see any way to change the language so that it would not be harmful, and he thought it could be defeated, he doesn’t believe they can get a ⅔ vote. They both agreed that if the President would stand firm it would probably collapse.

Brownell will be in touch with the Secretary when he returns on Tuesday.4

  1. The source text bears the initials BO’D (Burnita O’Day), Dulles’ secretary.
  2. William P. Rogers.
  3. For a record of the discussion of the Bricker Amendment at this meeting, see Adams’ memorandum of June 4 to Dodge, supra.
  4. June 9.