Election 1944: Dewey attacks Big Four’s ‘power politics’ plans (8-17-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 17, 1944)


On eve of peace talks –
Dewey attacks Big Four’s ‘power politics’ plans

Opposes domination by ‘coercion’

Washington (UP) –
Governor Thomas E. Dewey’s vigorous denunciation of “power politics” centered new attention on the coming world security conference today as the United States, Britain and Russia prepared for talks aimed at creation of a new league of nations, possibly before the end of the war.

With the start of the discussions only five days off, their worldwide importance was stressed by these developments:

  • Mr. Dewey, the Republican presidential nominee, opposed any new plan that would subject the world to the “coercive power” of the United States, Russia, Britain and China, which will join the conference at a later stage. His statement was regarded as a challenge to proposals by President Roosevelt and Russia for a world organization where chief responsibility for keeping the peace would rest with four or five big powers.

  • Chairman Tom Connally (D-TX) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, revealed that the “real conference at a higher level” would follow the coming security talks by two or three weeks. He predicted that a treaty shaping a world peace organization would be agreed on by fall.

Hull answers Dewey

Secretary of State Cordell hull today described as “utterly and completely unfounded” the fears expressed by Mr. Dewey about plans for an international security organization. He said there is no plan for a military alliance of the four major nations.

Mr. Hull said:

No arrangement such as described by him, which would involve a military alliance of the four major nations permanently to coerce the rest of the world, is contemplated or has ever been contemplated by this government, or, as far as we know, by any of the other governments.

Confirming Senator Connally’s statement, Mr. Hull said he hopes that the preliminary international security talks will be followed this fall by a full-dress United Nations conference to formulate a new world peace organization.

Mr. Connally, the administration’s foreign policy leader in the Senate, which must affirm any treaty for U.S. participation in a new world organization, said that “we aim to have a league of nations, or whatever you want to call it, that’s a growing concern before the end of the war.”

GOP to watch parley

Mr. Dewey’s statement, his first important utterance on foreign policy since his nomination as the GOP presidential candidate, indicated that the Republican Party would watch the coming talks closely and challenge any development which it felt contrary to world welfare. It also dimmed hopes of keeping foreign policy out of the current election campaign.

Declaring that it would be “immoral” to leave solution of international problems in the hands of a permanent alliance of the Big Four, Mr. Dewey said that some of the advance proposals showed a “cynical intention” of those nations to dominate the world through four and “individual agreements as to spheres of influence.”

Roosevelt offers plan

President Roosevelt has suggested an organization whose chief responsibility for preserving the peace would rest in a council made up of “the four major nations and a suitable number of other nations.” All nations, however, would be represented in an assembly in order to guarantee them the right to justice under international law.

This plan has the general endorsement of Great Britain and is believed similar to the official Russian plan.

The big powers are expected to oppose the principle of full equality and responsibility of all nations for keeping the peace and probably will maintain instead that all powers, great and small, are equal only in the right to justice. They are understood to feel that large and small nations must not have the same influence or same right to voice in determining international policy.

Russia urges treaties

In addition, the Russians advocate that the four powers – knitted more closely into a “union of great powers” by special individual treaties – must carry the responsibility for keeping peace and suppressing aggression.

Mr. Dewey’s stinging attack struck particularly at such talk of individual treaties among the Big Four.

He said:

The fact that we four have developed overwhelming power as against our enemies does not give us the right to organize the world so that we four always will be free to do what we please while the rest of the world is made subject to our coercion.

That would be the rankest form of imperialism. Such a proposal would be rejected by the American people.