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It would take a considerable amount of time to make this report, if it is to be a committee report, because we would have to meet here from day to day, discuss the various issues involved, mull over the testimony, and arrive at a conclusion by the committee on a great many issues.
I do not say that in an attempt to influence the committee, but I am giving you my views. If the committee wishes to make a report, I am perfectly willing to take the time to devote to that report, any time that may be necessary.
Chairman CONNALLY. May I ask you a question, Senator?
Chairman RUSSELL. Yes.
Chairman CONNALLY. If we made the report, what could we do about it? Could we do a thing?
Chairman RUSSELL. All we could do would be to express our views. Chairman CONNALLY. Of course.
Chairman RUSSELL. That is one reason why all of us, if we stood together as one man, all 26 of us, of course, could not restore General MacArthur to his command. We could not even force our views growing out of the hearings on the military operations in Korea and in China.
I think the hearings we have had, have had a very wholesome effect on those operations, but we could not, of course, even force our views, although we were unanimous.
I do not think there is any possibility whatever of a unanimous report on all of the details of the issues involved before us, but I am throwing the matter open to the committee for discussion and motion. If the committee wants to make a report, I will work on that as assiduously and as earnestly as any other member of the committee. Senator KNOWLAND. Mr. Chairman? Chairman RUSSELL. Senator Knowland.
Senator KNOWLAND. I merely want to express this viewpoint: We did go through a long period of hearings. We have four volumes before us, and there is still, presumably, one to come. I think that this committee has a responsibility to make a report to the Congress and to the people.
Now, until we attempt to do so, of course, we will not know what the views of the committee might be, but there is a great deal of material to be waded through to read four volumes of the hearings, and I would think we would be somewhat lax in our obligation to the Senate if we did not make a report or at least endeavor to do so. Senator BRIDGES. Mr. Chairman, I feel that we should make some report, and if the committee in its wisdom, or the majority of the committee in their wisdom, decide not to make a formal report, then I think some group of individuals in the committee would want to make a statement-at least, express their views and offer such views over their own signatures. Instead of a formal report of the committee, it would be such a statement.
It would be the individual views of certain members of the committee. Of course, the preferable way would be to have the committee make the report, but if in their wisdom they do not see fit to do so, then I would think that for those who wanted to express their individual views, that they go ahead and do it over their own sig
Senator CAIN. Mr. Chairman, would you permit me to make this observation, sir?
Chairman RUSSELL. Yes, sir.
Senator CAIN. Because possibly some of our colleagues may not be aware of it, if I'm not mistaken, it was on Friday, the 13th day of July that I advised the chairman in a visit of brief duration, and indicated to him that certain members of this committee had committed their own views on this question to paper, and I told the chairman at that time that those for whom I was speaking were hopeful that the committee would find it convenient to call a meeting for the purpose of discussing a report.
Chairman RUSSELL. That is the purpose of this meeting, Senator. Senator CAIN. The chairman immediately said on the 13th day of July that as soon as it could conveniently be done, after the members of the joint committee then in Europe had returned, and certain other matters were gotten out of the way, that he would call the meeting which he has convened for this morning.
What I wanted to say is that the views of certain members have been commited week ago to paper, and those of us who subscribe to those views, and perhaps others would join with us, would not feel at this very late day that a publication of those views was an act anticlimax to our hearings.
Senator MCMAHON. Mr. Chairman?
Chairman RUSSELL. Senator McMahon.
Senator MCMAHON. I gather that there have been meetings of certain members of the committee to discuss their views and, of course, I would be the last one to deny any member of the committee the right to express his views, or the right of any members of the committee to caucus privately and clandestinely, and reach an accord on their views. That is their privilege.
I would be somewhat surprised if the views that they had reached were not submitted to the full membership, because if they have done all this spade work and have got their views, which might be determined a report, how do they know until we read it that we might not find ourselves in accord with those views.
I have received no suggested findings. From my examination I do not suppose there is any intentional discourtesy involved in that, but I cannot understand it.
Senator BRIDGES. Senator McMahon, I know that you know it is no discourtesy to you or anybody else with respect to what was done, because certainly these joint committees have always operated with perfect courtesy to each other, and although disagreement has arisen personally sometimes, a mutual respect for each other's views exists. The individuals, the members of the committee, who did work on a report were some of those people who, by their questioning and by their questions, developed and indicated their general beliefs in a crtain direction, and so they went ahead individually and prepared what is not a report but a summary of their views.
Of course, for one individual of that group-and I was one— -I would welcome the adoption of their views as the views of the whole committee.
I am somewhat doubtful whether that would happen or not, but certainly I would welcome it. The point I make is that I think it wise
to have some sort of a report from this committee. But if it is not done, why then, individuals, as you have so well stated, should have the right to express their opinions over their own signatures, and that they alone should be responsible, so that they will in no way reflect upon the other members of the committee.
Senator MCMAHON. Is it your intention, Senator, and that of the group, to submit this proposed document as a basis for a report by the full committee or have you arrived at a conclusion in your own mind that the effect of that document is of such a partisan nature that there is no use in submitting it for judicial examination?
Senator BRIDGES. No; it is not a partisan report, Senator McMahon. It is, I think, a very fair appraisal of the results of the hearing.
As far as I am concerned, as one of the group who have been working on this, if the committee decides to have a report, I certainly would be glad to submit this as the basis for that report.
If they decide not to have the report, then I, as one of a small group, would like to go ahead and publish the views of the certain individual members, but if we decide to have the report, we certainly would submit that as the basis for the report.
Senator KNOWLAND. Would the Senator yield?
Chairman RUSSELL. Does the Senator yield?
Senator KNOWLAND. Does not the Senator think, perhaps, that the first thing the committee might decide was whether in their judgment they want to issue a report or not? Obviously if the majority of the committee determines they do not care to issue the report, there will be no committee report as such.
Then, I think, it is a question as to whether individual members of the committee desire to issue at least their views on the outcome of the hearings or not; but, of course, in that event it would not be a report of the combined committees.
Senator LONG. Mr. chairman, might I make a suggestion? Senator KNOWLAND. If I might just complete my statement-if, on the other hand, a majority of the committee should determine that a committee report would issue, then we would have to proceed, it seems to me, toward the drafting of such a report, and the committee itself would have to have an opportunity of determining just what went into such a report.
Senator LONG. Mr. Chairman, if I might make a suggestion-
Senator LONG (continuing). One Senator told me that he had worked up his views, in collaboration with some other Senators, and he offered me the opportunity to look it over, and I have had a chance to just glance at it briefly.
I would say if a majority of this committee can agree on anything, that just by my looking at it, it would be the report of the committee, meaning the report of the majority. But if a majority cannot agree on a report, then I do not see how it can be anything but individual views.
Can it be a committee report if the majority cannot agree on it? I don't see how it could be.
Senator GILLETTE. Mr. Chairman?
Chairman RUSSELL. Senator Gillette.
Senator GILLETTE. May I make a general suggestion? The set-up of this group is an unusual thing, as everyone knows, and the steps that brought it into being, as I understand them, were as follows: The Armed Services Committee took the initial action, and addressed the letter to General MacArthur under date of April 13, from which I quote:
The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously requests that you appear before it to give your views on the military situation in the Far East and the circumstances leading up to your relief from your several commands in that
That is an excerpt, of course.
Then, subsequently, the chairman of this joint group on April 25 propounded a unanimous-consent agreement to the Senate:
Mr. RUSSELL. Mr. President, Gen. Douglas MacArthur has accepted the invitation of the Senate Committee on Armed Services to appear before that committee on Thursday, May 3. The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has requested that it be permitted to meet with us in a joint meeting. I ask unanimous consent that that may be done, for the purpose of that meeting as well as subsequent hearings on the subject.
The VICE PRESIDENT. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. WHERRY. Mr. President, will the Senator yield for a question?
Mr. RUSSELL. I yield.
Mr. WHERRY. Is it contemplated that the two committees will sit jointly in continuous hearings?
Mr. RUSSELL. Yes; both for the purpose of hearing General MacArthur, and for the purpose of subsequent hearings to be held on the same subject.
Then, on May 3, at the time of the opening of these hearings, the chairman, in his very excellent statement to the joint committee, stated as follows:
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations, today we are opening hearings on momentous questions. These questions affect not only the lives of every citizen, but they are vital to the security of our country and the maintenance of our institutions of free Government.
We shall attempt to obtain the facts which are necessary to permit the Congress to discharge its proper functions and to make correct decisions on the problem of war and peace in the Far East and indeed throughout the world.
In view of those preliminary steps and the purpose for which it was set up, and the statement of the chairman, it would seem to me obvious that we ought to make a formal report.
It is obvious to everybody that we could not agree on conclusions, but it would seem to me that in the interest of orderly procedure, we should make a report of what we have done, that we held so many hearings, and present the record of the hearings to the Senate. We cannot leave it dangling in the air, as it now is; and it would seem to me that it was essential that, acting under the authority through which we were set up, and the statement of the purposes that we were developing facts on which the Congress should act, that we should present our developed facts to the Congress in a formal report, and without the conclusions, of course; and if anybody wants to, we could not present it if we wanted to, and nobody wants to prevent anybody from filing any statement that he wants to make.
It would seem to me that we should make a formal presentation of our action to the Congress.
Senator MCMAHON. Mr. Chairman, I would like to make an observation on Senator Gillette's statement.
Chairman RUSSELL. Senator McMahon. Senator MCMAHON. When we concluded these hearings, this committee adopted a statement to the American people which was submitted to the Senate in due course, and printed, as I recollect it, in the Congressional Record-a statement which met with, as far as I could see, almost the universal approbation of the American people.
It received editorial commendation from coast to coast, and I think it might not be a bad idea, before we went too far with the consideration of this, if we got out that statement and looked over what we had already said to the American people about these hearings.
Of course, I call the committee's attention to the fact that we are now engaged in delicate, most delicate, negotiations in Korea. I will not attempt to draw any or make any predictions, rather, of what effect this might have-the committee's action might have-in this regard, what the effect would be with respect to those negotiations.
However, it strikes me that any sensible man knows that this is not a time to rock the boat.
I would like to know, if I could, how many members of the committee have met and joined in this statement which, I take it, they would like to make the basis of a report by the committee. Can you tell me that, Senator?
Senator BRIDGES. There are eight Senators who have told me that they would affix their signatures to this report, without reservation. There are several more who have indicated their interest in it, but have made no definite statement, and I think that the interest expressed in general, about the report, might total close to half of the Joint committees.
Senator MCMAHON. Are the eight members now committed, members of the minority?
Senator BRIDGES. They happen to be; yes.
Senator MCMAHON. This report has not been submitted—this document has not been submitted-to all members of the committee for their examination?
Senator BRIDGES. No; it has not.
Senator CAIN. Would the Senator yield for one brief observation, the Senator from Connecticut?
Senator MCMAHON. Yes.
Senator CAIN. I would like to say with reference to what you have indicated about the minority, that those of us who have studied and committed this problem to paper, particularly sought to embarrass no member, Senator McMahon, of the majority.
We have studied and put our views in concise form, following which those views were circulated in a reasonably general way to members of the majority.
Senator MCMAHON. I thank the Senator for his tender regard for my sensibilities, but I assure him I would not have been embarrassed if there had been submitted to me the views that the Senator has in regard to these proceedings.
Senator CAIN. They were submitted not to the Senator from Connecticut, to the best of my knowledge, but to other members, to some of the members, of the majority.
Senator MCMAHON. I again regret that I was a pariah, along apparently with some of the rest of my colleagues, who were not permitted to drink at this fount of wisdom.