WASHINGTON (Apr. 7)
President Eisenhower today reaffirmed American interest in promoting human rights through United Nations action, thus appearing to contradict a statement made yesterday by Secretary of State John Foster Dallas that the Eisenhower Administration would not sign any treaty on human rights drafted under United Nations auspices and that it would not press for ratification of the U. N. Genocide Convention.
The President made his view clear in a message to Mrs. Oswald B. Lord, new American representative on the U. N. Commission on Human Rights, which starts a seven-week session today in Geneva in an effort to put the Human Rights Convention into final shape. He made no mention of the statement here yesterday before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee by Secretary Dallas on behalf of the Administration.
Emphasizing that the denial of human freedom in some countries causes the work of the Commission to take on greater importance and meaning, President Eisenhower said. “For these reasons also there is need for a new approach to the development of human rights consciousness in all areas of the world. I have accordingly asked Mrs. Lord to present positive UN action programs to the Commission which we feel will contribute to that recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms which people are seeking throughout the world.”
The statement by President Eisenhower caused confusion here in view of the fact that Secretary Dallas yesterday said that he spoke with the “full authority of the Administration.” He told the Senate subcommittee that the United States would not sign a UN Human Rights treaty because of the opinion that such rights should be encouraged, not by treaty, but by voluntary “education, persuasion, and example.”
Secretary Dulles made this statement in testifying on the Bricker Resolution which provides for a Constitutional Amendment aimed at preventing Senate ratification of international treaties, specifically including those designed to protect minority groups from persecution. Mr. Dallas said that he was sympathetic “to the point of view” reflected in the resolution and went out of his way to commend Sen. Bricker. However, he asked that the whole matter be delayed pending “further study.”
Speaking specifically of United Nations attempts to protect minorities, Mr. Dallas said that the United States does “not intend to become a party to any such covenant or present it as a treaty for consideration by the Senate.” He assaulted the whole concept of protecting human rights by treaties. The State Department, under the direction of former President Truman, energetically sought Senate ratification of the UN treaty on human rights as a means of preventing such genocide as that practiced by Hitler against the Jews.