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Senator CHURCH. Enables them to have that self-respect; does it not?
Senator GRUENING. It does.
For instance, when we were contemplating constructing the InterAmerican highway, we proposed to Mexico that we build it to Mexico on the same formula by which we would pay two-thirds but they rejected that. They decided to build it entirely with their own funds, and I think a large part, an important factor, in the excellence of our relations with Mexico is the firm stand that the Mexican administrations have taken in behalf of their principles, and we have come to respect these principles and that stand now, and I think that mutual respect is the basis for the good relationships which now exist between our two countries.
I think it is a very creditable performance, and I wish we had equally satisfactory relationships with other countries.
Senator CHURCH. I agree with that completely.
FACTORS RELATING TO AMOUNT OF U.S. AID FUNDS
There is just one other subject I would like to query you on, and that is on the overall question of how much aid we should give abroad.
I am very much concerned, I know the Senator from Missouri, Senator Symington, is equally concerned, and many others on this committee, about the total outgo of American funds, the drain on the gold supply, and the continuing adverse deficits in our balance of payments.
Don't you think that the amount of aid we give ought to bear some relation to such matters as the skyrocketing of the war in Vietnam, which this year will cost $25 billion?
Senator GRUENING. Why, of course, of course, and it is that skyrocketing of costs of the war that has caused the drastic cuts in our domestic program. And it is stated in the President's own message requesting a resolution on Latin America that these increases that he asked for will not be at the expense of other parts of the world. Well, we are part of the other part of the world, and yet we are taking the brunt of that expense in the cuts of our domestic programs, and I cannot justify that.
Senator CHURCH. Not only in our domestic program, but it seems to me that this ought to be a time for us to effect cuts in the foreign aid program as well as domestic programs if this is necessary in order to finance the war.
The very least one would think is that this would be a time to hold the line on American aid extended to 40 or 50 other foreign countries in view of the gigantic costs of the war; wouldn't you agree with that?
Senator GRUENING. Well, it was my recommendation, made in my remarks, that we cut the foreign aid program in the same percentage and proportion as we are cutting our own domestic program.
I think that would be a very proper procedure.
Senator CHURCH. But instead of that we are being asked in this resolution
Senator GRUENING. To increase it.
Senator CHURCH. To what, in effect, will be interpreted as a congressional endorsement for increasing the aid program in Latin America at this time by $1.5 billion.
CUT IN U.S. DIVISIONS IN EUROPE
Do you see any indication of any attempt to discipline our spending at all in any direction abroad?
Take the present negotiations under Mr. McCloy in Europe concerning the continued stationing of six American divisions in Europe. As I read the newspapers we have backed away from our previous insistance that the Germans cover our balance of payments costs on this question.
Is that your interpretation from what you have seen in the papers so far?
Senator GRUENING. Well, I know the Senator from Idaho is very knowledgeable on this European situation. I feel very definitely that we are needlessly overextended there. There is no need of our keeping the 300,000 soldiers there that we have.
I think we could very substantially reduce those forces with benefits to our economy and our balance-of-payments problem, because the situation when NATO was created, at which time it was a necessity, has long ceased to exist. The Russians are not going to march across Europe in the foreseeable future, as far as we can see, and if they did those countries are prosperous enough and strong enough now, largely due to the aid we gave them after the war, to put up effective resistance.
We also have demonstrated our ability to mount an airlift if this situation should arise which would require our military aid.
U.S. TROOPS ARE WIDESPREAD
We are following the example of ancient Rome. Our legions are everywhere and this attempt to act as would be policemen could lead to a similar downfall if not restrained.
When I was in Japan some months ago I was surprised to find we had 40,000 troops there, and I asked one of the ranking officers how that came about, and he said, “Didn't you know the Japanese went pacifist after the war and we have got to stay here and defend them ?”
I said, “Well, have they asked us to?"
Well, why would they object when we are spending all this money? Why don't they defend themselves if they want to be defended ?
The same thing is true with Okinawa. We have 30,000 troops in Okinawa. We have a half million in Southeast Asia, when we count the fleet offshore and the troops in Thailand, and this global expansion led to the downfall of ancient Rome. The Romans thought they could police the whole world and spread themselves all over, and gradually their great empire went to pieces.
Senator CHURCH. Well, this, of course, is the thing that concerns me so. It seems to me there is no indication anywhere on the European front, the Pacific front, the South American front, the African front, to do other than to spend more and more money.
Senator GRUENING. Except at home.
Senator GRUENING. Which is the crux of my opposition to this resolution.
Senator CHURCH. Yes.
UNITED STATES SHOULD SET AN EXAMPLE
Senator GRUENING. I would like to say I do not conceive that taking care of our domestic needs first is a narrow, selfish
I think part of the strength in the Nation is not only in our military. It is in our resources. It is in our economy. It is in the example that we set to the world. It is what we do to educate our children, to get rid of poverty and crime and get rid of pollution and all of those needed things we promised so gloriously to do and did in the first session of the 89th Congress, and which we are now abandoning.
Senator CHURCH. I think there is much wisdom, too, in the belief of our Founding Fathers that the great force of this country would be the force of its example.
Senator GRUENING. That is right.
Senator CHURCH. And it is a rather sorry example when we continue to refrain from tackling the problems that face us inside the country. Here we have the race problem which is far from resolved; we have the problem of polluted water, polluted rivers, crowded cities, mass transportation that is 30 years out of date. If we want to look at modern mass transportation we have to go to Japan or we have to go to Western Europe.
We have a conservation program that begs for proper implementation. We are falling way behind on public recreation. We have slums.
I was in Western Europe a year ago, in Germany and in Switzerland, and in the large cities there, and nowhere did I find slum conditions or poverty conditions that anywhere even compared with those that are typical in any large American city.
Senator GRUENING. Right.
Senator CHURCH. Right here in the city of Washington, if you want to find poverty you have only to walk a few blocks. We could walk with the children and the old folks in the parks in those European cities and there were few policemen about, and those that we saw were not carrying big guns on their hips. People played in the parks until late at night with no fear. I came back to Washington and came out of my office at 8 o'clock at night, and the plaza in front of the Capitol building was dark. The only man who dared to walk in it was a policeman with a gun on his hip and a dog for extra protection.
This is the example we are setting for the world. I do not know of a single empire that based its influence upon missiles or great fleets of airplanes or vast sums of money poured out on the fringes of its empire that ever lasted. The end result was a growing antagonism toward it, and then a hatred of it, which finally brought it down.
Yet in the early years of our own country's history, when we were just an infant in the backwaters of the world, by the force of our example we set fires so strong as to bring down all the monarchies of Europe within less than a century; the whole liberal revolution in Western Europe was set up by the example of the American and the French Revolutions.
COMMITMENT IMPLIED IN RESOLUTION NOT SUPPORTED
I not only have growing misgivings about the rationalization that underlies our aid program, but I think demonstrably it is failing to
achieve its results and in the case of the tremendous expenditure of
it seems to me it is time to take a new check on the things, to hold the line, to make prudent cuts in foreign spending as well as domestic spending. We are asked by the President not only to commit ourselves to $1.5 billion more for Latin America, but to do it in the most irregular manner by giving him a blank check approval, which you and I have agreed commits us to a large expanded program prior to the time that he even goes down to talk to the presidents of Latin America.
I cannot go along with that. I cannot go along with any resolution that commits us to an enlarged program or any procedure of this kind that has that result.
I will have to oppose it in this committee and I will have to oppose it on the floor of the Senate.
The CHAIRMAN. You made such an eloquent plea, that I am going to have to reconsider my own view about aid in general. It is a very fine statement you made. (Laughter.]
The Senator from Missouri.
Senator SYMINGTON. The Senator from Vermont is next, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, yes.
FURTHER HEARING PROCEDURE
Before the Senator begins, I want to mention that we have another witness here. I think it is quite obvious we are not going to finish this today. Does the Senator have any views about this? It is getting late, and some of us are scheduled to go to New York very early in the morning. I do not think we ought to run very late.
Senator SYMINGTON. Mr. Chairman, I would be amenable to the wishes of the Chair. It might be if we finish with the distinguished Senator from Alaska this afternoon, we could proceed at some other time with another witness whose position in this matter is one that would be of interest to the entire committee.
Senator Morse. I am glad you did raise the matter, Mr. Chairman. I think it is perfectly obvious that you cannot do more than finish with this witness today. You were not here, I think, when I made my first statement this afternoon. I think it is perfectly obvious that you are going to have to go over to the Easter recess and finish the hearings, I hope, immediately following the Easter recess, and we will see if there is any basis on which a resolution can be brought out.
I think we ought to stay with Senator Gruening.
The CHAIRMAN. I did not hear you. That is why I raised the question. I must have been on the telephone when you made the statement. I did not understand it.
Senator MORSE. I think it is obvious that after this afternoon we are going to have to go over to the Easter recess regardless of what the administration's wishes are.
I want the record to show that the first meeting of the Subcommittee on Latin American Affairs to start the study on the Alliance for Progress will be March 30 instead of March 29.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Aiken..
Senator AIKEN. Mr. Chairman, I am willing to forego the opportunity of a lifetime and pass up my turn to ask questions, if it is all right with the rest of the committee. (Laughter.]
I would like to know when the Chairman contemplates there will be a continuation of the hearing on the resolution.
The CHAIRMAN. As soon as we can convene. Senator AIKEN. At least if you could give us the week or the month when we could take up the matter again, it would be helpful. Senator GORE. Congress resumes on the
29th. The CHAIRMAN. I think April 3 would be the earliest. Senator AIKEN. The 30th?
The CHAIRMAN. The 3d. We will try to have a continuation of this hearing
ADMINISTRATION SHOULD ADVISE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT IT WANTS A
Senator MORSE. I only want to say, Mr. Chairman, for what it may be worth, if anything, I think it is up to the administration also, in
İ view of the discussion that has already taken place, to advise as to whether or not they want a resolution at all. I would be very hopeful that the Chairman of the committee, and others that he might want to associate with him between now and the time we pursue this matter further, have a discussion with the administration in regard to what the administration wishes. I do think that if we can work out a statement of advice for the President that meets all the objections that have been raised here this afternoon, I would favor it.
I happen to know he is too modest to say so, and I happen to know the Senator from Vermont, Mr. Aiken, has been working on some language that I think would be very helpful which, combined with the essence of your resolution, might strengthen the President's hand.
I certainly think we ought to send our President down there with his hands strengthened, not weakened. I think that there is a very definite realm within the meaning of the advice and consent clause that carries out what I consider to be our obligation toward the President in view of the fact that he very properly has sought our advice, as he has a right to seek our advice, and I think ought to do more often under the advice and consent clause.
I am going to say no more now. I am going to wait for others to take their turn. But I do want to examine Senator Gruening further in regard to the points Senator Church raised, because I disagree completely with Senator Church and Senator Gruening in regard to the meaning of this resolution.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
1 say to my able friend, the Senator from Alaska, that I am impressed with his statement, and join with my colleague from Kentucky in saying it is always a privilege to hear from somebody who combines intellectual capacity and experience to the extent he does.
Senator GRUENING. Thank you.