195. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Solicitor General (Rankin), Washington, June 21, 1957, 5:19 p.m.1


The Sec returned the call and the SG said in the Girard case the Court granted certiorari on both petitions and set it down for hearing July 8. So we ought to get it disposed of. The Sec said fine. The SG will be arguing it. The Sec said you appreciate the significance this has. It affects our whole defense posture and collective defense arrangements all over the world. R said something re conducting foreign affairs. The Sec said when you permanently station troops abroad instead of on a temporary transit you subject them to the jurisdiction of that state except as that state may waive it. SG agreed. The Sec said if they waive it under mutual waivers as here it is hard to see how such an arrangement is not valid. If we cannot make such an arrangement then in effect there cannot be any waiver by the country where our troops are. It ends up they must have complete jurisdiction because apparently a conditional waiver is no good. If we cannot honor it then there is no alternative but to retain 100% jurisdiction. Therefore you cannot have troops there. The SG said it is an absurd situation and we have to make it plain to the Court so they see the impossibility of it. The SG said we will submit to State the draft of brief which must be filed July 1. The Sec said he would like to see it.2 The SG will get it here as well as to our people.3

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations. Prepared in the Office of the Secretary of State.
  2. Not found in Department of State files.
  3. According to Minnich’s minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on June 28, Brownell reviewed several recent court decisions:

    “In regard to the Girard case, he believed that the lower court decision was incomplete since it did not recognize the peace treaty ratified by the Senate authorizing an agreement such as was subsequently made. He indicated that the Government would soon present its case to the Supreme Court and would maintain that the treaty provision is paramount.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Cabinet Series)