MARCH 7, 1957
NEW YORK—The question of whether the United States Senate should ratify international agreements was one of the subjects discussed at the meeting in Washington, D.C., of the American Association for the United Nations.
It is, of course, a political issue but one which has broken party lines. Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio, sponsor of the Bricker amendment which would curb the President's treaty-making powers, was described by one of the speakers as having succeeded in frightening the State Department and the Administration so that no international treaty has been presented to the Senate in the past five years.
The International Labor Organization invited the United States to help improve a treaty, to which we are now a signatory, for the outlawing of slavery in the world. This treaty should be brought up to date, but we could not join in this effort to prevent new forms of slavery in the world because the treaty again would have to be submitted to the Senate and this might give Senator Bricker a reason for pressing for his amendment's adoption.
The Ohio Senator has said that he will only try to get the amendment considered by the proper committee in this session of Congress but that next year he intends to get it onto the floor.
It seems to me that opponents of the Bricker amendment would do well to start now on their educational campaign. If they wait until Senator Bricker acts, they will not have time to organize and carry through a good educational program.
I am quite sure that if the people of the country really understand what adoption of the Bricker amendment would mean, there would be no difficulty in defeating it.
An interesting suggestion was made at the meeting in the discussion of disarmament. It was that we allow the United Nations to establish a comparatively few stations throughout the world for the detection of hydrogen bomb explosions.
This would be a good idea. It would strengthen the United Nations and relieve the various countries from setting up such detecting machinery of their own.
Anyone who listened to the possibilities of what lies ahead of us in case of war, as described at that meeting, would be more than glad, I think, to see any method used to lessen chances for a third world war.
Other subjects discussed by able speakers were: The new challenge to the U.N. General Assembly, new dimensions for economic development, and the promotion of justice for the individual. The general topic of the conference was the major issues before the United Nations and the United States' responsibility regarding these issues.
The meeting, sponsored by the AAUN, was a conference of national organizations. Many of our own AAUN chapter representatives did not attend, since the chapters decided to hold regional meetings this year, with a national convention in New York sometime in November.