Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman file

Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting, Held at the White House, 10 a.m., July 17, 19531

confidential
  • The following were present:
    • President Eisenhower
    • Vice President Nixon
    • Secretary Dulles
    • Secretary Humphrey
    • Secretary Wilson
    • Attorney General Brownell
    • Postmaster General Summerfield
    • Under Secretary Tudor (for Mr. McKay)
    • Assistant Secretary Earl Coke (for Mr. Benson)
    • Secretary Weeks
    • Secretary Durkin
    • Secretary Hobby
    • Mr. Dodge
    • Mr. Flemming
    • Gov. Stassen
    • Amb. Lodge
    • Mr. Young
    • Gov. Adams
    • Gen. Persons
    • Mr. Shanley
    • Dr. Hauge
    • Mr. Morgan
    • Mr. Hughes
    • Mr. Williams
    • Mr. C. D. Jackson

[Here follows discussion of the scheduling of the next Cabinet meeting, a report by Ambassador Lodge on his recent trip to Los Angeles and on public opinion there, the preparation of the State of the Union message, and reports by Secretary of State Dulles on [Page 1824]the recently concluded Foreign Ministers meeting and on the Korean truce negotiations.]

Bricker Amendment—Secretary Dulles urged that a decision be reached in regard to the Bricker Amendment for either eliminating action this session or making the President’s position known unequivocally to all Senators. Governor Stassen joined with Secretary Dulles in asserting that the Bricker Amendment could be beaten, particularly since Sen. Bricker was defeated on the NATO Status of Forces question,2 and they agreed that it was more desirable to defeat it completely rather than joining in a watered-down version.

The President reviewed his position in regard to opposing amendment of the Constitution by treaty and emphasized the need for consideration of public opinion which would not be silenced merely by complete defeat of the Bricker Amendment.

The Attorney General reviewed the progress of negotiations and was joined by the Vice President in suggesting that Senator Bricker would, as a result of the NATO Status of Forces vote, probably be willing to accept the Administration language. Mr. Brownell commented that to beat the Bricker Amendment entirely would result in a serious split in the Republican Party.

It was agreed that Mr. Brownell should continue his discussions with Senate leaders for a solution consistent with the language presented by the Attorney General to the Republican Policy Committee.

[Here follows discussion of the Simpson Tariff Bill, the national debt, grazing legislation, and the budget outlook for FY 1955.]

  1. Prepared by Minnich.
  2. On July 15 the Senate, by a vote of 72–15, had approved ratification of the NATO Status of Forces treaty.