Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman file

Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting, Held at the White House, 10 a.m., June 5, 1953 1

confidential
  • The following were present:
    • President Eisenhower
    • Vice President Nixon
    • Secretary Dulles
    • Mr. W. Randolph Burgess (for Secretary Humphrey)
    • Secretary Wilson
    • Mr. Wm. P. Rogers (for Attorney General Brownell)
    • Postmaster General Summerfield
    • Secretary McKay
    • Secretary Benson
    • Secretary Weeks
    • Secretary Durkin
    • Secretary Hobby
    • Mr. Dodge
    • Gov. Stassen
    • Ambassador Lodge
    • Chairman Young
    • Gov. Adams
    • Mr. Shanley
    • Mr. Cutler
    • Mr. C. D. Jackson
    • Gen. Persons
    • Mr. Hughes
    • Dr. Hauge

[Here follows discussion of patronage, the excess profits tax, and a cartoon given the President by Hamilton Fish Armstrong regarding United States policy and Central Europe.]

[Page 1814]

Bricker Amendment—The President reported to the Cabinet the comments made by the Legislative Leaders the preceding day concerning a strong sentiment in the Senate for the Bricker Amendment. He expressed his belief that even the revised amendment would tie the hands of the President in case of war.

Secretary Dulles emphasized the disastrous effect this amendment would have on the United States by virtue of its reversal of American constitutional principles. He expressed strong support for Mr. Herman Phleger as against the criticism made by Congressional leaders, and he felt that the Congressional leaders desired a compromise of principle on this subject where he believed no compromise possible. The President agreed on the undesirability of compromise, but commented that a salesmanship job was in order to bring the Senate around.

It was agreed that Mr. Brownell and Mr. Phleger should undertake to arrange an alternative solution which would avoid compromise but provide a means of saving face for the interested Senators. General Persons will work closely with Cabinet Members in determining where their personal influence can most effectively be exerted, both on this subject and on others that may arise.

Mr. Benson and others noted the broad support of public opinion for this amendment which has resulted from lack of presentation of its dangers. General Persons commented that the House may accept the amendment as a means of gaining an opportunity to participate in civilian conduct of foreign affairs.

[Here follow a briefing by the Secretary of State on the international situation and discussion of continental defense and various personnel and economic questions.]

  1. Prepared by Minnich.