For a few days last week, the U.S. Senate turned the clock back to the isolationist '303, and the nations of Western Europe had the sickening sensation of being left in the lurch.

The Senate was droning through the day's business when Missouri's plodding Republican Forrest Donnell rose, waving a newspaper clipping. The story, which he read, declared that the North Atlantic pact would constitute "a moral commitment to fight." Donnell demanded to know whether that was true. Did the pact infringe Congress' right to declare war?

Old Tom Connally, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, reacted like a punch-drunk...

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