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Dan Smoot Asks
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Do You Approve of Atlantic Union?
Federm. union, inc. uei- incorporated
in 1910 eis ei nonprofit, nonpartisan,
nonsectarian membership association.
Its purpose was lo promote educational
activities in bring alioui a federal union
of the Atlantic countries.
A chief purpose of ihe Atlantic Union
Committee, incorporated in 1949 to supplement the wink of Federal Union, is
to obtain a joint resolution of Congress,
calling for a convention of delegates
from Atlantic democracies to explore
lhe possibility of their forming an Atlantic Union.
In 1050 ei resolution, supported hy a
fourth of the members of both houses
of Congress, was introduced hy Senator
Estes Kefauver. This resolution called
for the United Slates to invite the
NATO countries to name delegates to
meet in a federal convention lo explore
lhe possibilities of forming a federal
union, in furtherance of Article 2 of
the NATO Charier. Senator Kefauver
remains the principal sponsor of such
a resolution—although Congress has not
yel passed one.
In December, 1954, representatives of
<"ight NATO neiliuns. meeting in Ottawa.
Canada, called for implementation of
Article 2 of the NATO Charter lo provide greater economic and political
Unity. The formation of an Atlantic
Assembly was proposed, this assembly
to be composed of members of the legislatures of the NATO members. Under
this proposal, NATO is to take on the
duties of coordinating the economic and
political—as well as the military- -activities of member nations.
A meeting of the Council of Ministers
pf NATO is scheduled at The Hague,
•o Ihe Netherlands. Al Ihis uncling
these proposals will he considered, anil
'lie United States government has now
agreed lei ilisittss them.
Facts Forum's question: "Should lhe
United Stales join in a Federal Union
*ith ihe Atlantic NATO countries?"
In llie tradition of Fuels Forum,
lei's consider tin- question from iwo
opposite points of view, taking first
the arxumentf of some who say
The Atlantic Pad nations arc often
Referred in as llu- Atlantic Community.
''lis is lhe group of fourteen nations
."''longing to NATO, the North Atlantic
'ri-eiiy Organization: Belgium, Inited
Kingdom, Iceland, France, the Nether-
FACTS FORUM NEWS, August, 1955
lands, Luxembourg, Italy, Turkey.
Greece, Canada. Norway, Denmark,
Portugal, and Ihe United Slales.
These nations are already hound
together in the common purpose of
resisting tyranny and defending democracy in the world. They are already
hound together economically and militarily in the sense that the fate of all
depends on the fate of each. Yet they
are not united politically.
Each nation has its own foreign
policy, its own currency, its own regulations of trade and immigration. The
result of Ihis has been division, some
iiiiilueil antagonism, and dangerous indecision.
Necessity dictates that the democracies move beyond the Atlantic alliance
lo form a federation like the, federation
of lhe forty-eight American states, with
enough power residing in the central
federal authority to provide for the
The proven American federal system,
which is democracy at ils highest and
most organized level, should he put on
a trans-Atlantic basis.
The American people would he losing
none of llieir sovereignty under such an
arrangement. Our present government,
of course, would surrender sovereignty
to Ihe greater federation, but this would
not impair our freedoms since sovereignty resides in the people, not in lhe
government. We would merely be changing the government under which we
reside. We would still have representation in proportion to population. The
American individual would be exercising his sovereignty through his elected
representatives in an Atlantic Union,
rather than a national Congress.
It would be wisest to begin the exploration of Atlantic Union with the
original seven NATO sponsors: the
United Slales, Canada. Great Britain.
France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and
Luxembourg. The people of these countries have long experience in free, representative government. It would be a
natural and comparatively easy step for
them lo form a Federal Union. Tbe
decisions could In- made later as to inviting oilier NATO countries lo join the
Union. There are other nations who arc
not members of NATO, which might
eventually be invited — such as Wesl
Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and Irc-
lemel. The term "Atlantic Union" does
not imply thc exclusion of any democracies outside the North Atlantic region.
Such non-Atlantic democracies as Aus
tralia and New Zealand might well be
invited to join the Union.
The Union should be composed of
those people who are experienced in
free government, and ihis should include any non-Atlantic people who wish
lo he included and who meet Atlantic's
standards of individual freedom and
free government. Atlantic Union should
not include countries which are dictatorships. In this respect Atlantic Union
differs sharply with lhe proposals for
The Constitution of Atlantic Union
should include a Hill of Rights which
would guarantee thc citizens all the
rights they enjoy in each and all member nalions today. No one would lose
any such rights. A frame of government
would have to be provided—one which
would secure lhe citizen's rights againsl
aggression, dictatorship and anarchy.
This frame of government would include
a legislature elected by the people; an
executive capable of enforcing Union
law upon lhe citizens; and a judiciary
empowered to adjudicate disputes between citizens ami member states. Also
n I'll would he a threefold division of
powers. These should be defined. Firsl.
there would he the powers reserved to
the people by the Bill of Rights: second.
the powers retained by the member
states; and third, thc powers specifically
ill le "jelled to lhe I nion.
FREE MARKET FOR 400 MILLION
This proposed federal union of Allan-
tic Pad nalions would provide not onlv
the mililarv strength to combat aggressive communism, but also the economic
strength to raise the level of prosperity
for all lhe people of lhe free world.
The Atlantic I nion would establish a
fne market for 100 million people. It
would afford lhe only important market
for all other countries. It would be their
besl buyer of raw materials and theii
sole source of supply for many manufactured goods.
The nalions of the Atlantic Commun-
ily share a common set of interests am]
needs. We do not have identical sys-
li'ins: Inil wc ilo bene a similar political
tradition of representative governmenl
which grew oul of the same Greek and
Roman society lying at thc root of
\\ estern civilization.
Since llie end of World War II. these
free nations have sought to achieve
effective cooperation. Economically, we
have employed American foreign aid.
Militarily, we joined forces under
NATO. But in spite of all our efforts