LATE in the summer, in the heat of Washington and the presidential campaign, the Research Division of the Republican National Committee produced a tart little document entitled: "Democratic Duplicity and Appeasement in Foreign Policy Administration, 1935-1947." This was a compilation of carefully selected statements by the book-writing New Dealers, all designed to suggest that Roosevelt and Truman were clumsy appeasers who, by their mistakes, were more or less responsible for the melancholy state of world affairs today. If one were to read this or listen to some of the lower-case campaign speeches culled from it, one might conclude that the Republicans, if elected, would reverse Democratic policy on practically every front. The truth of the matter is, however, that on almost every basic foreign policy issue likely to come before the 81st Congress next January the chances of a continuation of the present policy are pretty good.
Four fundamental questions are likely to arise early in the new Administration, and these will undoubtedly determine the course of American foreign policy throughout 1949. These questions are:
Will the Congress approve an executive agreement (or will the Senate ratify a treaty) associating the United States with a Western European defense pact under the United Nations?
Will the Congress approve an extension of the European Recovery Program at approximately the same rate of expenditure and under more or less the same administrative establishment as prevail at present?
Will the Congress approve new legislation to increase the rearmament of the United States and, particularly, to authorize the President to transfer arms to other countries?
Will the Congress, and particularly the House of Representatives, accept American participation in the International Trade Organization and carry on the Reciprocal Trade Agreements program of past Democratic administrations?
These are not the only questions that will be waiting for the legislators when they finish their political fun and games this autumn, but these four will probably decide the trend of American policy at the mid-point of the century. The background and
Loading, please wait...