340.1 AG/4–653: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consulate General at Geneva


636. For Mrs. Lord. Secretary included following in statement before Senate Judiciary Committee April 6:1

“1. The present Administration intends to encourage the promotion everywhere of human rights and individual freedoms, but to favor methods of persuasion, education, and example rather than formal undertakings which commit one part of the world to impose its particular social and moral standards upon another part of the world community, which has different standards. That is the point of view I expressed in 1951 in relation to the Japanese Peace Treaty. Therefore, while we shall not withhold our counsel from those who seek to draft a treaty or covenant on Human Rights, we do not ourselves look upon a treaty as the means which we would now select as the proper and most effective way to spread throughout the world the goals of human liberty to which this nation has been dedicated since its inception. We therefore do not intend to become a party to any such covenant or present it as a treaty for consideration by the Senate.

“2. This Administration does not intend to sign the Convention on Political Rights of Women. This is not because we do not believe in the equal political status of men and women, or because we shall not seek to promote that equality. Rather it is because we do not believe that this goal can be achieved by treaty coercion or that it constitutes a proper field for exercise of the treaty-making power. We do not now see any clear or necessary relation between the interest and welfare of the United States and the eligibility of women to political office in other nations.

These same principles will guide our action in other fields which have been suggested by some as fields for multilateral treaties.”

Full text airpouched.

  1. The statement by Secretary Dulles before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Apr. 6, 1953 is printed in Department of State Bulletin, Apr. 20, 1953, pp. 591–595 (“The Making of Treaties and Executive Agreements”). The two numbered paragraphs extracted for this telegram appeared in the following context: “There has been a reversal of the trend toward trying to use the treaty-making power to effect internal social changes.… To illustrate my point about the change of trend, I am authorized to say: 1. The present administration intends.…” (p. 592).