Editorial Note

On July 22, 1953, Senator Knowland introduced in the Senate a substitute for S.J. Res. 1. It reads as follows:

“Section 1. A provision of a treaty or other international agreement which conflicts with the Constitution shall not be of any force or effect. The judicial power of the United States shall extend to all cases, in law or equity, in which it is claimed that the conflict described in this amendment is present.

Sec. 2. When the Senate consents to the ratification of a treaty the vote shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against shall be entered on the Journal of the Senate.

Sec. 3. When the Senate so provides in its consent to ratification, a treaty shall become effective as internal law in the United States only through the enactment of appropriate legislation by the Congress.”

Later that same day, the White House released a statement by President Eisenhower in which he gave his “unqualified support” to the Knowland substitute resolution. Among other things, the President noted that the Knowland resolution confirmed that the President’s power to carry on negotiations with foreign governments could not be used contrary to the Constitution. He stated further that he was “unalterably opposed to any amendment which would change our traditional treaty making power or which would hamper the President in his constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations.” He also commended Senator Wiley and others for joining in the defense of these constitutional powers. The text of the President’s statement is in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953, pages 509–511.

Congress adjourned on August 3 without having taken any action on S.J. Res. 1 or on the Knowland substitute.