WASHINGTON (Apr. 26)
A spokesman for Sen. Jacob K, Javits said today that the Senator believes the United Nations Genocide Convention could be ratified by the U.S. Senate at this time and should be brought to the Senate floor. The aide to the New York Republican reported Javits’ view to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency when asked to comment on reports that the outlook for ratification at this time was poor. He said Javits, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee , was pushing for early action on the treaty. The committee approved the treaty on March 30 by a 10-4 vote, Approval marked the most advanced stage the treaty has reached since President Harry S, Truman first sent it to the Senate in 1949. The Nixon administration has also asked for its endorsement. The U.S. is one of the few countries that has failed to ratify the convention, a fact that has been a source of embarrassment to U.S. diplomats.
But the national controversy over the conviction of Lt. William Calley and other alleged war crimes in Vietnam has provided ammunition for opponents of the treaty. They are expressing fear that some foreign government will seek to try Americans on charges of genocide in Vietnam, a fear apparently shared by many others. Two members of the Foreign Relations Committee, neither of them opposed to the treaty, have reported that their mail was running 100-1 against ratification. An aide to Sen. Mike Mansfield, the Senate Majority Leader, told the JTA today that the treaty and an accompanying report by the Foreign Relations Committee will be filed for placement on the Senate’s executive calendar this week or next week. He said the report was still being cleared by individual committee members. The aide denied press reports that the Montana democrat said he has no intention of bringing the measure to the floor unless there is an assured two-thirds majority for ratification. Once the treaty is filed, the Senate leadership may determine when it will be called to floor or may withhold it. Mansfield has said that the Calley case and the “Vietnam situation in general raised the question of the wisdom of proceeding with the bill at this time.