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Union. It becomes apparent that each Senator has, in effect, responsibility for expressing the opinions, on the average, of nearly 2 million citizens. Since this is so, no Senator's voice should be needlessly stifled. This right to talk freely and without further unnecessary limit should be zealously guarded.
It is doubted that if in the history of the United States the passage of any legislation has been so urgent or the public emergency so great that the Nation's larger interests would have been benefited by less careful and mature consideration of any measure in the United States Senate.
The general opinion of advocates for further limitation on debate appears to be that emergencies, real or fancied, or new or unusual conditions, justify haste and less mature consideration of so-called urgent legislation, therefore that the voice of Senators who may oppose should be forced to subside in the interest of speed.
Our own considered and careful reflection seems to support the proposition that the greater the seeming emergency for some new legislation, the greater the need is for careful consideration and debate in regard to it.
In our view, more debate surely is to be preferred to more bad laws. The need is for more vigorous opposition, more thorough debate, more centering of public attention upon the vices of most new legislative proposals, rather than less.
If the Congress of the United States should for a space of 10 years busy itself primarily with the repeal of too hastily considered laws already enacted, rather than to continue the present trend toward hasty passage of an ever-increasing volume of new and dubious legislation, this would, in our opinion, result in great good in a period when all governments of and by the people are under attack by forces both at home and from afar bent on their destruction.
Under present conditions, even the nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States are in constant disagreement concerning the law; inferior Federal and State courts and lawyers are in hopeless confusion because none can know what the law is.
The tendency of the courts to make law for themselves, then to worship their own errors, rather than to read and apply the law as it is written, undoubtedly stems to some degree from the circumstance that the body of the statutory law is so vast and complex that there is possibly no citizen in the United States who has attempted to read all the law, and certainly none who can rightly claim to have studied it with sufficient care to comprehend it all. Had more careful consideration and less speed been exercised, had more time been devoted to considering whether so much law was really needed by the United States Senate in former days, this situation might have been prevented.
Federal criminal law is such that no citizen can be sure he has not violated some of its penal provisions. In fact, most, at some time or another possibly have, for citizens can be convicted and severely punished even for failure to answer rightly or to state correctly answers to questions in myriads of Government forms, the nature and purpose of which, many, if not most, do not understand, and the correct answers to many questions in which are not easy to determine. Citizens may be jailed under Federal law for such loosely defined offenses that guilt or innocence often depends upon the favor, or lack of it, of the judge on the bench.
Illustrating more specifically unwise and hurriedly considered legislation which, in our opinion, has found its way into Federal law, we invite attention to laws such as the following
Senator Javits. Now, Mr. Foster, at this point would it be convenient to you to put in the record the specific examples you give which appear upon the ensuing pages of your statement and ask you to read your conclusion or make such conclusion as you wish, which I note here is at the last page of your statement?
Mr. FOSTER. Yes.
Senator Javits. You have taken about 20 minutes, which is all right. We have no complaints about that. Except this seemed a convenient stopping point.
(The balance of Mr. Foster's prepared statement follows:) 1. Adopting charter of the so-called United Nations
The treaty adopting the charter of the so-called United Nations was 'rushed through in a veritable frenzy of demand for speed and without adequate consideration by the United States Senate. This treaty established a permanent and irrevocable alliance between the United States and the Communist regime of Russia, headed by "Uncle Joe" Stalin.
Ostensibly calculated to preserve the peace of the world, the United Nations has ushered in an era of perpetual war, worldwide, both cold and hot, and no end of it in sight.
Such semblance of peace as exists rests on mutual, mortal fear and is maintained by the ever-increasing and impossible burden of a race to create more and better atomic bombs and to preserve a peace based on terror. There is presently neither promise nor pretense of any peace based on mutual respect, confidence, or regard for justice and right.
The lone voice of one courageous United States Senator at te time the United Nations Charter was being considered might have saved the United States and the world from its present tragic dilemma. More debate might have aroused others like the late United States Senator MeCarran who confessed sadly regret for his approval of the U. N. Charter to his dying day. 2. Drafting citizens as-soldiers to serve as armies for foreign nations.
As a result of the lack of courageous Senators who would contend against such laws to the death, citizens of the United States may now be drafted to create the armies that are to sustain or destroy any government in any quarter of the earth in furtherance of the ever-changing vagaries of the executive branch of Government as determined by the State Department, and without so much as the knowledge of the United States Senate.
Paradoxically, pressure from the State Department upon the Congress and a claimed emergency furthered this radical change in national policy at the very time the world was supposed to be enjoying that celebrated peace brought about and maintained under the aegis of the United Nations.
American citizens not yet old enough to vote are systematically ordered from their homes to report for military service, where they may be compelled to serve under the flag of the United Nations and to execute its mandates, regardless of the circumstances that no citizen of the United States owes or has pledged allegiance to United Nations and despite the circumstances that the only enemy in the world presently posing a threat to the peace and security of the United States and of the world occupies in the United Nations a dominating position.
That such an indefensibly stupid arrangement lost for us the last war appears to disturb our State Department not at all, for to the State Department peace and war are but interchangeable terms for the same status of world turmoil and disorder.
More deliberation by the United States Senate might have prevented this deplorable and to us indefensible invasion of the civil rights of American youth, which threatens both our identity and our existence as a free nation.
3. Status of Forces Treaties and Executive agreements to deliver American
citizens in arms to the jurisdiction of foreign nations for trial and punishment under alien laws
Abdication by the United States Senate of its constitutional duty and obligation to consider' maturely and carefully treaties, Executive agreements, and laws has brought about a situation where American citizens in arms in foreign countries are but pawns in the chess game of world power politics. The executive department usurps the right and authority to deprive citizens in arms of every civil right under both the Constitution and laws of the United States.
The while this situation exists, the United States Senate fritters away its time considering so-called civil-rights legislation under the lash of the executive department of government and of powerful organized minority groups of citizens with votes needed by the politicians, but which citizens are presently safe at home and with ciivl rights amply guarded by domestic laws, the Constitution, and the courts.
How desperately the people of the United States need Senators even to filibuster against laws which may strip them of every shred and vestige of personal cause for concern with the future welfare of the United States as a nation; for if a citizen be orphaned and disowned by his own Government at a time when peculiarly he needs the protection of its constitution and its laws, of what value is American citizenship to him?
Readiness of the United States State Department to deliver American soldiers like William Girard, who may be in military service abroad, over to foreign governments for trial and punishment conformable to their laws, contrasts strangely with the immunities from prosecution for crime under American law it extends to Communists from the Kremlin who may be on diplomatic missions or assigned to service with the United Nations in the United States. The laws committing our armies to military service abroad should have assured them that the flag of the United States symbolized something for them, even in Japan. 4. Taxing the American people to support foreign governments · If the Communists had coldly conceived and executed a plan to ultimately bankrupt and through this means destroy the United States, it is doubtful if one more ingenious could have been conceived than the plan which obligates the taxpayers of the United States to provide indefinitely the economic sinews to sustain all the weak and faltering governments of the world.
This radical change in national policy in effect drafts every sovereign citizen of the United States in every business and occupation, where he is subject to taxes, in the service of every foreign nation to which so-called Marshall plan aid is extended, for taxes are but part and portion of the wages of the American people for their labors.
The Marshall plan, as initially proposed, contemplated economic aid from the taxpayers of the United States, even to the major enemy of our Nation.
In practice there can be no assurance that presently the Iron Curtain countries are not substantial beneficiaries of foreign-aid spending, for information and means of obtaining information concerning the final and ultimate disposition of American dollars sent abroad is believed not even available to the average United States Senator. Certainly such information is not generally available to the American citizens who provide the money.
To us there is no great difference between the indefensible scheme whereby plates from the United States Treasury were made available to a foreign power for printing United States dollars abroad for the use of some foreign government and in having our money printed in Washington for the same purpose.
Marshall plan spending abroad appears to rest on the false premise that we can buy friendship with money, that we can hire foreigners to give their lives for our country.
The lash of the executive branch of Government and agitation by specialinterest groups, the identity of which to the general public remains obscure, brought about this radical change in American public policy. A filibuster by a courageous representative of the once sovereign American citizens in the United States Senate might have prevented adoption of a national policy the result of which can only lead to national bankruptcy and which in any event makes us slaves to foreigners. 5. Oensuring Senator Joseph McCarthy
An outstanding example of great public need for some courageous Senator to stand guard to the bitter end with the Nation's defenders was that day recently
when the United States Senate was under the whip of a strange combination of political powers, actually considering the censure of the late United States Senator Joseph McCarthy. No man of our age is more worthy of praise for 'brilliant, courageous, unyielding, and patriotic performance of duty in an effort to expose the most dangerous and effective enemies of the United States who have been operating in secret, and even in the United States Army.
Courageous and unflinching support at that time, rather than condemnatioin, for United States Senator McCarthy might have resulted in a desperately needed change in overall public policy, in a wilingness and zeal to ferret out and expose all traitors, all spies, and all disloyal citizens in every department of American public life, and in a determined purpose to win the existing world war against communism in the Nation's Capitol, and in our own Armed Forces. The Senate should at the least have discovered who promoted Peress.
Nothing could more graphically vindicate McCarthy's position than the recent disclosure that the United States Government is vainly attempting now to obtain release to its jurisdiction from France of intelligence officer George Zlatovski and his wife, Jane, so that these citizens who have been indicted for treason may be tried in American courts and under American law for offenses committed in America against the peace and security of the United States. The alleged treasonable acts are reported to have continued for some 13 years and during a time when Zlatovski was an officer in the United States Army. 6. Some further illustrations of legislation which needed more consideration in
the United States Senate We conclude by directing attention to four purely domestic laws which also illustrate, in our opinion, well the great need for more rather than less mature consideration by the United States Senate of Federal laws that involve dubious principles of basic public policy.
A. Federal regulation of suffrage at elections conducted under Federal law.Minority groups and professional reformers throughout the United States continue agitation for civil-rights legislation to extend the power of the Federal Government to regulate elections and the suffrage Strangely no criticism seems to have been directed toward certain laws which have been enacted under the pretext of an emergency whereby the Federal Government has attempted to prescribe terms and conditions under which the suffrage may be exercised at elections specifically provided for by Federal law.
We direct attention to provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, whereby the production of basic commodities on American farms may be prevented and violations punished as a public offense. Adoption or rejection of such farm programs are made to depend upon the result of elections conducted under Federal law. At such elections the right of suffrage is withheld generally from all citizens of the United States except those who presumably will benefit from the adoption of acreage allotments. Not even all farmers are eligible to vote at such elections only such as have allotments of corn, or wheat, or cotton, etc.
Agitators for civil-rights legislation, who habitually criticize the sovereign States for imposing requirements in some instances that voters be limited to persons who, at least through poll taxes, help pay the burdens of Government. do not even discuss Federal laws disenfranchising in effect every citizen of the United States except those relatively few farmers who have basic crop allotments.
The issue to be determined at such elections is one of general public concern for it involves among other things the food supply of the Nation. More mature consideration against such invasion of the civil rights of American citizens disenfranchised by such laws would have been eminently in the public interest.
B. Old-age and retirement pensions for favored citizens range from $22,500 to $35,500 per year.-Overall public interest in recent decisions of the Federal courts, particularly of the Supreme Court of the United States, prompts us to invite attention to the circumstance that to encourage reirement of Federal judges, and to create vacancies so that the present judges might be installed in their high offices, the Congress of the United States under Executive pressure and assuredly without judicial remonstrance in recent years has passed legislation not only substantially increasing salaries of Federal judges but providing, in effect, retirement benefits and old-age pensions for Federal judges in sums varying from $22,500 to $35.500 per year.
The wisdom of a public law whereby any public officers is to be retained upon the public payroll for life at full pay, work or play, regardless of the character
of his service, needed certainly more consideration by the United States Senate.
C. Exorbitant Federal taxes and an ever-mounting public debt.-The lavishness with which the Congress, often under Executive pressure, and generally with undue haste, appropriates the people's money, reminds us to direct attention to the present exorbitant and confiscatory Federal tax rates, and the evermounting public debt.
Hasty lawmaking has brought about a condition where the United States Government possibly owes more money than all the nations receiving Marshall plan aid combined. Despite this, the American people possibly pay more in taxes than under any government on earth. Under present trends there appears no likelihood of relief despite income tax rates which mount to 91 percent in the top brackets. More deliberation in lawmaking might have prevented this lamentable condition which weakens and shames us before the world.
D. Federal laws for committing deviationists to the mad house.--A final illustration of unwise legislation which, in our opinion, might have been avoided by more mature consideration in the United States Senate is found in sections 4244_4247, title 18, United States Code, relating to alleged mental incapacity of citizens after arrest and before trial.
Under provisions of this section of the penal code of the United States, as construed and applied by the courts, a brilliant citizen who writes well but does not write the things some Federal judge thinks she should write, may be mauled around, humiliated, forcibly committed to an insane asylum, then tried and convicted of the offense of giving bad advice, advice which, by the way, no one appears to have needed. Even the circumstance that no one was shown to have followed the alleged bad advice the Federal judges considered immaterial upon the issue of whether a Federal crime had been committed. This legislation establishes a perfect pattern and procedure for purging political adversaries in the United States for deviationism within the framework of existing law.
Mr. FOSTER. We say, concluding, may we for the reasons stated and illustrated above earnestly urge that the United States Senate reject any proposal designed to expedite the passage of more new laws or to further limit the Senators in their analysis and debates upon the merits of any proposed action by the United States Senate.
That is respectfully submitted by the United States Day Committee, W. L. Foster, chairman; W. E. Garrison, executive secretary; and - Glenn O. Young, attorney and counselor.
This is our signed copy, gentlemen.
Mr. FOSTER. I will leave that with you and ask that it be put into the record.
Senator JAVITS. Would you read the resolution?
Mr. FOSTER. The following resolution was passed by unanimous vote by the United States Day Committee in regular session with a quorum present on May 31, 1957:
Whereas we have witnessed, during the last two decades, the undermining of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, the loss of our individual liberties, and general regimentation; and
Whereas we are mindful of the fact that the right of unlimited debate in the United States Senate is one of those freedoms that must be preserved, at all - costs, if we are to preserve the American way of life which has placed this Nation in a position of world leadership, and
Whereas the alternative to unlimited debate is "gag rule” or at the least a form of censorship : . Now, therefore, be it
Resolred, That the United States Day Committee, in regular session assembled on this the 31st day of May, in the year 1957, do hereby urge that the United States Senate place no limitation whatever on debate pertaining to any measures affecting the lives and fortunes of the American people, except as is now provided in Senate rule XXII.
Senator Javits. Thank you very much, Mr. Foster.