Though this is a very long manuscript, we felt it important to make it available in full as then Elder, Ezra Taft Benson had wished that it would be. For those that do not wish to read it in full, but would like to get the overall feel of what President Clark wrote, we have hi-lighted key points that you can skip to.
To the Editor of the Deseret News:
Acceding to your request I am submitting to you a few general observations upon some of the more obvious important factors of the San Francisco [United Nations] Charter. I have not attempted to make anything but a more or less cursory analysis.
The opening session of the Conference was on April 25, 1945. Two months later almost to the day the Charter was signed (June 26, 1945). It was submitted to the Senate on July 2, 1945, with a letter from the Secretary of State urging prompt ratification. The Senate opened its hearings on the treaty on July 9th; it closed them on July 13th. The Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification on July 28th. Thus we were launched into a world organization involving us in relationships and obligations, new not only to ourselves but to the other nations of the world, after a consideration of less than a month by the Senate of the United States, after four days hearings by the Senate Committee, and before the people generally had opportunity to study and consider this basic departure from all the traditions and practices of our country over the more than a century and a half of its existence. The Old saw about marriages between individuals-and this professes to be a sure-enough marriage between nations-carries a lesson o us now: “Marry in haste and repent at leisure.”
The overwhelming vote for the Charter by members of both parties in the Senate in conclusive evidence that the Senators thought their respective constituencies were for the Charter. But their haste suggests they were not anxious to put it to the test by debate and consideration. The hearings, as reported in the press were in the main, a travesty on exhaustive consideration. It may be the people of the country are as strongly for the Charter as the Senatorial weather vanes indicated. If so, one comes back to the dictum of Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time-but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.” there is a day of reckoning coming for those who either wittingly or unwittingly betray the hopes and aspirations of the people.
Aged, faltering, dim-eyed Isaac, groping to probe the mother-inspired deceit of Jacob, plaintively, complainingly said: “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau” (Gen 27:22).
The Charter has some, not many, new words, a few new phrases, there has been some regrouping of materials and some changes of emphasis, but, inn all essentials, it bears a remarkable, indeed unmistakable, family likeness to its father, the Covenant of the League of Nations (in essential features it is a counter part); in declared purpose it resembles its grandfather, the Holy Alliance; and both in framework and purpose its features are unmistakably those of its great grandfather, the Grand Design of Henry VI, and of its remote founding ancestor, the Amphictyonnic Council that was evolved fourteen centuries before Christ. There is nothing really new in the San Francisco Charter, except those terms that build a new military alliance and these are old in principle. It is the same old body dressed in some patched up clothing.
The League Covenant had an assembly made up of representatives of all members of the League; so has the Charter for Charter members; under neither plan has this popular body any real determinative powers in vital matters.
The Covenant had a Council with a backbone of five permanent members, the then most powerful nations of the world, -the United States, the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan, and four members from the smaller powers to be chosen from time to time; the Charter has a “Security Council” with five permanent members, presently the now most powerful nations of the world, -the United States, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Republic of China, and France, with six non-permanent members to be elected by the Assembly. While as a matter of voting this puts the control of the Security Council into the hands of the smaller powers which could thus determine what the large powers must do in waging war, this is not the way it will work, because no important action can be taken without the consent of the Permanent Members, that is the give great powers. The Security Council is in fact the governing body of this new world organization. There is no essential difference between the League Council and the Charter’s “Security Council,” the word “security” adding nothing in fact.
The League Covenant provided for a Permanent Court of International Justice; the Charter provides for a like Court, and adopts as the Constitution for that Court the essentials of the statute framed to govern the operation of the League Court.
Each plan provides for a permanent secretariat, with very considerable powers, which in fact looks after all the details of operation of the Organization.
These are the essentials of both plans.
There are certain auxiliary organizations in both.
The Covenant had provision for a labor organization “to secure and maintain fair and humane conditions of labor for men, women, and children, both in their own countries and in all countries to which their commercial and industrial relations extend;” The Charter provides for an economic and social council for securing “higher standards of living, full employment, conditions of social and economic progress and development,” with some details as to the operation of the Council.
Both the Covenant and the Charter provide for a world military commission which shall have a large advisory and controlling powers over the joint military forces-the “international police force” of the Charter that under certain conditions could grow into armies of millions of men-that are to be created for enforcing peace. The army we might contribute to any military expedition to enforce the Charter would pass from our control to that of the “Security Council” and the “Military Committee,” once it became part of the “international police force.”
The Covenant provided for granting “mandates” to picked favored nations over various countries and islands. The Charter recognizes these mandates, and also sets up (1) a plan for administering “territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government” (these non-self-governing territories are not named), and (2) a further plan for the establishment of “an international trusteeship system” over “such territories in the following categories as may be placed there under by means of trusteeship agreements (a) territories now held under mandate; (b) territories which may be detached from enemy states as a result of the second world war, and (c) territories voluntarily placed under the system by states responsible for their administration.” A Trusteeship Council is to be set up to assist in the administration of trusteed territories. Apparently the trusteed states have no voice in any matter touching themselves.
The Covenant contemplated the establishment of regional understandings among contiguous states; the Charter specifically provides for such regional arrangements.
The Covenant Provided for and required world disarmament “to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations.” The Charter has no equivalent provisions. In fact it seems to contemplate no limitation oupon the military establishments of any of the United Nations, for national administration is urgin an expansion in our own military organizations that will not only be the greater in our own history, but the greatest in the world.
The Covenant provided that international treaties made by members of the League must be registered to be effective. The Charter also provides for such registration but provides further that every treaty must conform to the Charter provisions, and this seems to apply both to existing treaties and furture treaties. We are to give up our sovereign power to make treaties.
Just as the plan of Henry IV was in essence and purpose a military alliance against Austria and the Hapsburgs; just as the Holy Alliance was in fact a military alliance against France; just as the League Covenant was an alliance against Germany and her allies in World War One, – So the Charter strips down to a military alliance against the enemy states in World War II. If this element of the Charter is eliminated, including the provisions for the imposition of armed and economic sanctions, and if the provision for territorial aggrandizement by the big powers, through mandates, through the administration of non-self-governing peoples, and through trusteed territories, be stricken out, there is not left enough peace mechanism to make an equivalent for the Hague Convention of 1907 for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”
Perhaps the most striking feature of the Charter is the plainly discernible track of the Great Bear, either by way of express grants of power available and advantageous to him or by limitations against the exercise of powers by the Charter members, – all for the benefit of the Bear.
2. Underlying Principles
There are certain underlying principles that should be in mind in considering the wisdom of the organization to be set up by the Charter.
Foremost among these principles is this: The Charter must be weighed and measured not solely y the advantages, even the blessings, it might give if it worked and this is the point of view most frequently urged-but it must on the contrary also be weighed and measured by the disadvantages, the ills which it could bring if it did not work. For the ills might far outweigh the blessings so that we might find ourselves “paying too early for our whistles.” Or in other words we should ask ourselves,-if it works what will we get; if it fails what will we suffer.
In the next place we should appreciate that the Charter is to make its try in a world of stern, even brutal realities, not in a Utopia nor in a millennium. Never before in the history of the world have so many people and nations, numerically, come under the influence of hate and carnage with the whole evil brood of passions that trail after them. We have been so intrigued by the concept and phrase that godless men coined “total war”- that we not only tolerate, but take pride in boasting about, butcheries of peoples that a generation ago would have shocked to the very core all but the most depraved . The old, the infirm , the sick, the helpless, the women, the children, all are gleefully murdered in mass, and the more we slaughter the greater we proclaim our glory in arms.
The honor and chivalry of our fathers, that at least shed some respectability and even charity over the horrors of war, are dead. All this does not bespeak an atmosphere into which we may let fly a dove of peace, even if wearing a coat of armor, with any hope that it can live. Men’s hearts must change and righteousness must rule their lives before peace will come.
In the third place, so far as we are concerned, the Charter is launched upon a public sentiment that has been wind-whipped into a toleration and unresistant acceptance of about anything the Executive proposes. One directive after another has been proclaimed, one failure has trod upon the he Is of another “so fast they follow,” and time and again we have weathered successive failures, so that have come to feel maybe we can weather them all. So let us another, is the thought.
But this is not just anther directive. It is an international agreement. If we ratify it we hall pledge our words not only but our national good faith and honor to live up to the Charter promises. We cannot assume them today and cast them off tomorrow because we find them too burdensome, except we are willing to abide the penalty which would surely m an loss of respect and confidence, and also of prestige (whatever that may be worth), and which could mean a “total war” against us by all the powers who are parties to the Charter. Mr. Stettinius was quoted as saying we might leave the Charter organization if we wished, but the printed copies of the Charter, including the official Senate print, contain no escape clause. If we join we must expect to stick, and in the language of the street (not inappropriate•in this relation), if we stick we are stuck.
Another point: If we shall join in this organization we shall enter under such an unsettled world condition as has not been seen before on this earth save in great social, economic, and governmental cataclysms. We must consider what would be our situation if we incurred, deliberately (as we might) or inadvertently (as we may) the penalty of “total war” against us by the other Charter members, embracing all the nations of the earth except of course ourselves and the humbled and crippled enemy states. Recalling that Russia would be our enemy, would anyone doubt the extent of the measures of sabotage with which we would be victimized by the communists of this country in favor of Russia? But if we remained in the organization and kept our good standing, how shall we get along with communist Russia with her own particular aims and ambitions, that are not the same as ours.
Furthermore we have accustomed ourselves, many of us, to regard Britain as a friend upon whom we might rely in any contingency or emergency. As a matter of fact we have, in the last years, trailed her ambitions and her diplomacy, disregarding our interests where they clashed with hers. But whatever her friendship for us may have been in the past, hat of the future with her communistically veering government? Will she walk with us or with the Bear?
This international mess should be shunned, not married.
Again looking to the Charter itself, it is in drafting, in provision, and in plan but a weak imitation of the League of Nations Covenant. One cannot escape the comparison of a sophomoric essay with a dissertation for a doctorate. The League failed, not because America was not a party but because that plan and no such plan can succeed until men shall be changed in their ambitions, greed, and thirst for power and dominion over their fellowmen. And it may be added that now and for the next period-however short or long-we shall have added to the other factors of the situation just named, the struggle between opposing ideologies that are at one another’s throats in a life and death struggle.
Someday, when men ha e repented and gone to righteous living -it may be not until He shall come to reign whose right it is to reign- we shall have a world of peace, but not until then.
But on no account should we have gone forward on the theory
…More to be updated soon. This is a 3o page typed manuscript that will take some time to bring to you in full, but wanted to give you a taste of what was in the document. The entire manuscript will be provided here free of charge.
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