For a fortnight the members of the special Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee had sat with furrowed brows, listening intently to eight different proposals for taking apart and reassembling the world. By last week their files were stacked with thick mimeographed statements and their heads whirled from the barrage of testimony.
"Stalin is winning the cold war," warned white-thatched Will Clayton, onetime Under Secretary of State. "Even if we should be so fortunate as to escape another shooting war there will hardly be any occasion for great rejoicing if we find ourselves . . . isolated politically and eco nomically, our friends picked off one by one and added to Russia's satellites . . ."
Sincerity & Good Will. Clayton was speaking for the Atlantic Union Committee, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts. Atlantic Union was a lineal descendant of Union Now, founded and expounded by Clarence Streit, longtime crusader for a union of free peoples. Its blueprint envisioned a political, military and economic federation of the original seven North Atlantic Treaty nations (U.S., Canada, Britain, France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg).
Others were working towards much the same goal by somewhat different paths: ex-marine Cord Meyer Jr., whose United World Federalists was designed to transform the U.N. itself into a world government; Hamilton Fish Armstrong, editor of Foreign Affairs, who urged the "faithful members" of U.N. to bypass the Soviet veto and go on about their pressing business; Ely Culbertson, high priest of contract bridge, who wanted an international land, sea and air force (drawn principally from small nations) to prevent aggression.
No one doubted the sincerity or good will of any of the planners. All were bold and imaginative. They had in common a mingled sense of urgency and high ideals. But their congressional audience listened with increasing skepticism.
Pertinent Questions. The skepticism was reinforced by Assistant Secretary of State John D. Hickerson, who brought up some painfully realistic facts. He raised a pertinent question: "Just how far are we willing to go in compromising our way of life and our institutions?" Was the U.S. willing to agree to common citizenship, a common currency and taxes, a common standard of living within any federation? Who, he asked, could be sure that other nations would agree that the laws and institutions of the U.S. should be the basis for world government? Said Hickerson: "How far would the American people be prepared to go in altering our form of government? Are they prepared to have the representatives of the American people a minority in the parliament of such a union?"
The U.S., added Hickerson, was already moving as rapidly as practicable toward closer world relations through the Atlantic pact, ECA and the U.N. "The establishment at this time of such a federation," said Hickerson, "far from providing additional strength, could be a source of weakness and greater internal divisions."