Remarks of Representative John F. Kennedy before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C., February 22, 1951

Speech source: Papers of John F. Kennedy. Pre-Presidential Papers. Papers of John F. Kennedy. Pre-Presidential Papers. House of Representatives Papers. Series 02.2. Boston Office Speech Files, 1946-1952. Box 0095, Folder: "'Troops to Europe,' Committee on Foreign Relations, 22 February 1951"

Gentlemen, my feelings on the matter of congressional responsibility in connection with sending troops to Europe are these:

1. Europe is important to us because of its resources, its manpower, and its strategic location. For these same reasons, it should be denied to the Russians.

2. I think it is fair to say that if American troops now there were withdrawn, or if the American troops now there were not increased in numbers, Europe's defense efforts would collapse, and it would be far easier for the communists to seize power in that area.

3. Therefore, it is important to place American troops in Europe.

4. That leads us to the question how many? Before we answer that, let us see what their role is to be.

5. I think it is obviously not the public policy of the United States to take on its shoulders complete responsibility for the land defense of Western Europe, even if we could do so.

6. It seems to me, therefore, that American troops are in Europe for three reasons:

1) To participate in the actual defense of that area.

2) To demonstrate to the Europeans that we are determined to hold the line: and

3) And probably most important, to encourage the Europeans to develop their own forces.

How can these objectives be accomplished?

Before we decide this, it is well to summarize the rearmament program of the Europeans in order to determine the extent of their effort.

EXTENT OF EUROPEAN REARMAMENT

I have just returned from a trip through Europe. I visited three of the chief countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Europe — England, France, and Italy, and three other countries, West Germany, Yugoslavia, and Spain, whose capacities and loyalties are obviously tied up in the question of the defense of the west.

Let us look briefly at the rearmament programs of several of these countries and the number of divisions they will produce for General Eisenhower's command.

Great Britain:

Great Britain should have under arms this year around 12 divisions, 2 of which are now in Western Germany and 2 more of which will be sent to Western Germany to be placed under the command of General Eisenhower. Because of the demands on Britain's manpower around the world, at present that is about as much as they plan to send to that area.

France:

France will have under arms this year 10 divisions, 5 of which should be in West Germany under the command of General Eisenhower and 5 more that could be moved forward very quickly; she will add 5 more in 1952 and 5 more in 1953, making a total of 20 divisions.

Italy:

Italy, because of the limitations of the peace treaty, is allowed only 175,000 men for her army. As yet Italy has not built up to this limit, and although her plans are substantial — she has just appropriated $400,000,000 for rearmament — it will be some time before the Italian forces are up to that level, and even when they reach that figure, it is not expected that they will serve in large numbers outside of Italy.

Belgium is expected to send about two divisions to western Germany, and perhaps two and one-half divisions will be placed on the border of Belgium.

The Dutch effort is limited. The Norwegian effort obviously will be taken up with defending their own country, and the Portuguese effort is naturally small and will be ineffective without the assistance of Spain.

GERMANY, THE CRUCIAL FACTOR

I think the key to this whole problem of the defense of Europe is Western Germany. As you know, under the Brussels agreement it was planned that the German contingent should serve in brigade groups in a Western European army, and that they should be limited to not more than 150,000, or about one-fifth of the total forces of the Western European army. I think that it is fair to say that our plans for western Germany have been received in a very brisk and cool fashion by the Germans.

Kurt Schumacher, leader of the Socialist Party and perhaps the most powerful figure in Western Germany, in a press conference in Bonn on August 23, 1950, expressed, I think, the prevailing German opinion. Here is what he said:

When anyone talks to the German people about a contribution to the forces of Europe, the talks must be of a contribution materially different from the contribution of any other people. Our nation has just suffered more than 3,000,000 deaths in men of arms-bearing ages and we have at least 3,000,000 badly crippled.

Elsewhere in his statement he makes it crystal clear that the brunt bearers in any clash with marching Russian divisions must be divisions from the United States.

I am not talking — he says — about increasing the American occupational force by a couple of divisions, but about a great concentration here of American power. If that is forthcoming, then we will say "Yes"; if not "No."

When I talked recently with Schumacher in Bonn, he set out the German conditions on rearming: First, complete political freedom; secondly, an Allied screen to protect their rearmament from Russian retaliation. Only then could German units take their place in the line. This will obviously be 18 months to 2 years off.

My conclusions are therefore these:

TROOPS MUST BE SENT TO EUROPE

1. It is obvious that there will not at the present rate be sufficient land forces in Europe to stop the Russians if they should attack, until the beginning of 1953 at the soonest.

2. There is always a possibility that the Russians will attack before that time, and, therefore, we should base part of our defense policy on the possible assumption that Europe may be lost.

3. What we are basically interested in, however, is in lowering the date, 1953, by which the land forces in Europe will be sufficient to deter an attack, or stop an attack if it should take place.

This can only be done by encouraging the Europeans to make greater sacrifices in order to increase their divisional strength.

UNITED STATES AID SHOULD BE PROPORTIONATE TO EUROPEAN EFFORT

In order to do that I do not think that there is any doubt that our aid must be proportionate to the effort of the Europeans. This ratio should be at least 6 to 1 in mobile forces, considering that we are only 1 of 12 countries in the Atlantic Pact; that we are supplying large naval and air elements: that we have heavy commitments elsewhere; and that a substantial part of the equipment of the European forces will be American.

If we want the job done, in my opinion, we should —

1. Send the proposed four divisions to Europe to supplement the two that are already there.

2. Insist that before any additional American troops over and above these 4 divisions are sent, the Western Europeans shall place under the command of General Eisenhower 36 divisions.

3. And that for each additional American division that is sent in the future, the European countries of the North Atlantic Pact will produce six.

4. This program to be under the supervision of the appropriate congressional committee who will report to the Congress.

AT PRESENT, LIMITATION ON TROOPS IS NECESSARY

I have come reluctantly to the conclusion that there must be some type of limitation on our assistance, and with knowledge of its undesirable features. I believe that sometime in 1952, when we have a clearer conception of the extent of the European effort, the ratio system might be withdrawn and only a general supervision by the Congress over the program be maintained.

But for the present, if we want the job done, if we to secure the maximum benefits from the American contribution, I see no other alternative to this proposal.

RATIO SYSTEM

There are additional reasons why the ratio system should be adopted. The pressures to increase the size of the American land forces in Europe will be many and varied. There is the natural interest of the American military chiefs to secure better the protection of the forces already committed. We have seen that already. One of the arguments put forward for sending the additional four divisions was to protect the two already there. In addition, to a responsible commander the weakness of the North Atlantic forces in relation to the land armies of the enemy, and the natural concern that he must have regarding the caliber of some of his forces, will add to his desire to have further dependable American units under his control.

UNITED STATES COMMITMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES VIEWED AS EUROPEAN SALVATION

Joined with this will be the European efforts to have increased the American commitments to Europe. They see the power of the United States as their salvation, and they wish that power to defend them, not to liberate them.

It is no wonder that the Europeans supported an American, General Eisenhower, for commander of the North Atlantic forces; and that they supported Charles M. Spofford for Chairman of the Council of Deputies, North Atlantic Treaty Organization; and William Rogers Herod for Coordinator of Defense Production for the North Atlantic countries, all of which increased the degree of American responsibility.

All of this was expressed in direct and chilling words by Kurt Schumacher, when he said to a recent American visitor that he wanted to see American hostages in Germany.

The Europeans want American troops in Europe — troops that must be defended and supported by American power.

I do not object to this as long as we know what we are doing, but I do believe that if we are to be successful some system along the lines that I have suggested must be imposed.

Thank you.

Senator LODGE. Thank you, Congressman Kennedy.

Senator Wiley, any questions?

Senator WILEY. No. I am very sorry I was not here to hear the forepart of your talk. It was very interesting. I understand it was the result of your own investigation over there. Is that true?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, Senator. I spent 5 weeks visiting the countries that I named, and I came back about 10 days ago. I went to study their rearmament effort.

Senator WILEY. Did you have an opportunity to look over the air bases and potential air bases that are coming into being around the perimeter?

Mr. KENNEDY. No, sir. I was completely interested in the development of the land forces of these European countries.

DEFENSE EFFORT OF OUR PARTNERS

Senator WILEY. In the forepart of your statement you give your own reaction as to the attitudes of various people — the French, the Belgians, and British?

Mr. KENNEDY. I tried to give what I considered to be, according to their public statements, and all those figures I gave have been released to the press on their plans for how many divisions they are going to have. I think that it is obvious that in not one of these countries does their effort in relation to the amount of money spent for defense in proportion to their national income, bear any comparison to what we are going to spend. I think Great Britain is going to make the biggest sacrifice. For the next 3 years, it is going to spend about £1,500,000,000 a year — about one-eighth of their national income of £12,000,000,000. We are planning to spend for defense purpose about $52 billion, which is about one-fifth of our national income of $250 billion. But none of the other countries of the North Atlantic Pact are going to devote percentages of its income in any relationship to ours or even to Great Britain's.

A RATIO SYSTEM WILL SERVE AS STIMULANT

In none of these other countries are they planning controls over their economies similar to ours, and in not any of these countries are they taking men as young or for as long a period as we will take them. My own conclusion was that while what they are going to do will require great sacrifices and while it is understandable that they are reluctant to do more, I think that they must do more if Europe is to be saved. The only way we are going to get them to do more is by giving American assistance on a ratio basis.

Secondly, this ratio must be considered in terms of mobile forces. I do not see any point in considering, for example, that 12 British divisions can figure in this whole question of proportion when only 4 of their divisions may be under the command of General Eisenhower and the other 8 either in Great Britain or in Malaya or the Middle East. I think in considering the proportion, it will have to be forces directly under his command and distributed as he sees fit according to the dictates of strategy.

6-TO-1 RATIO

And then I say this: While I am in favor of sending these four divisions to add to the two that are there, I say before any more divisions are sent I think that Europeans are going to have put up their 36, a 6-to-1 ratio, and that for every additional division we send over, they are going to have put up 6. That is tough and it is going to demand a considerable reduction in their standards of living, but then we recognize that most of the equipment they are going to use is going to be American equipment

(Discussion at this point was continued off the record.)

Mr. KENNEDY. Considering the responsibilities that we are going to carry, I think that it is only fair, if we are not to be caught holding the bag, that the ratio system be put into effect and the Congress have supervision over it.

Senator LODGE. Any other questions?

IMPROBABILITY OF WAR THIS YEAR

Senator WILEY. What did you hear from the people themselves as to whether they thought Russia or her stooges were going to start something this year?

Mr. KENNEDY. I think that everyone, including Marshal Tito and others, thought there would not be an attack this year. The reasons are varied; one, as the Russians had not attacked before, why should they now when the bomb is still as much a deterrent as it was before?

Two, there are obvious deterrents to moving the iron curtain to the Atlantic. The problem alone of feeding Western Europe would be a tremendous job. Why should they take the risk of starting a war, when the best they could get would be a stalemate; during which they would be subjected to atomic bombing? Why should they throw everything into the game, why should they take risks that they don't have to — especially when things are going well in the Far East? In addition, Stalin is an old man, and old men are traditionally cautious.

That seems to be the prevailing opinion. Others say that the rearmament effort my stimulate them to attack. I would say that the first view is the predominant one.

Senator WILEY. What did you hear about the dissident elements and the stooges in the satellite countries or in the Ukraine?

Mr. KENNEDY. I did not hear anything about that.

Senator WILEY. What did you get from the people themselves as to why they thought Stalin had not struck before, either through his stooges or directly?

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, only this view of the risks involved in attacking, which I have just described. Obviously, there is a great risk in starting a war and no one could safely judge how this would end. There must be a reluctance to do it unless driven to it or unless a series of chain events as in the first war bring it. I think all those are factors that have been ascribed.

PROVOCATIVENESS OF SENDING TROOPS TO EUROPE

Senator WILEY. Is it your judgment that the contemplated plan as outlined here by the military that we had here of contributing four additional divisions, if and when they decide it is proper to send them, providing the countries in Europe have made their contributions — is it your opinion that the very thing itself would be provocative in any degree?

Mr. KENNEDY. I do not think that there is any doubt that there is a danger that this whole rearmament program will be considered provocative. That is something that we cannot judge. But I do not see how we can afford not to build strength to defend ourselves. If that stimulates attack, then that will come. But to refuse to do it because of that reason would seem to me to be the height of foolishness.

Senator WILEY. What I had in mind was whether or not the mere contribution we are making; say, in Europe, and the rearmament the American Continent may provoke Russia.

Mr. KENNEDY. That is right.

Senator WILEY. Do you think that is any particular factor in provocation?

Mr. KENNEDY. You mean sending the six divisions?

Senator WILEY. Four additional.

Mr. KENNEDY. I suppose it depends on what the Russians term "provocative." I could not answer at what point they would consider this rebuilding of Europe weakened them strategically. But it seems to me on our part that in view of the tremendous weakness of Western Europe in relation to the strength of the Russians, that these four divisions are not a threat to a major degree to the Russian security.

They may feel this whole rearmament effort will eventually deny them Western Europe and they may be reluctant to see military strength built up in Western Europe. I do not know what their views are on that. It is a risk which we must be conscious of — particularly if we rearm the Germans.

Senator WILEY. You have been in Europe quite a bit previously; have you not?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, sir.

Senator WILEY. You were there after the war?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes.

IMPROVEMENTS IN EUROPE

Senator WILEY. Are you in a position to evaluate any changes in morale, in the political health, and in the economic health of those countries? Would you say that through ECA and other channels a pretty good job has been done to rehabilitate them in those directions?

Mr. KENNEDY. I think there has been a tremendous economic come-back in nearly all of these countries, particularly in Western Germany. In all of the countries assisted by ECA, industrial production is well above prewar levels.

The Europeans will have to be willing to sacrifice this economic come-back, or a great degree of it, it seems to me, if they are going to build sufficient forces soon enough.

Senator WILEY. I was talking again about their potentiality to do so. You say the morale has been built up and the economic health has been built up. That certainly should help.

STRENGTH OF COMMUNISM IN WESTERN EUROPE

Now just one other question: Taking into consideration the various periods which you have in there, what can you say about the increase or diminution of communist influence in these countries? We know that there has been considerable at times. What is your reaction to that?

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, I think that there is every indication that the communist strength in France has been reduced, but is still substantial. The political strikes, which the communists tried to organize against Eisenhower, were very ineffective compared to political strikes that had taken place in recent years.

And, of course, the resignation of two leading communists from the Communist Party in Italy is a healthy indication. At the same time, it should be remembered that they resigned because of the statement of the Communist Party in Italy that if there was a war with Russia, the Italian Communists would be with Russia. That is such a strong statement that I was disappointed that more prominent communists did not resign from the party. That was such a strong statement that it is still a testimonial to the strength of the Communist Party in Italy that more resignations did not follow those of the two members of the Chamber of Deputies.

Italy has the third largest Communist Party in the world after Russia and China, and I suppose France is next and I suppose so long as that condition exists their rearmament effort will be weakened. In addition, these are neutralists, third-force people and others, and all these sap their rearmament effort.

DEFENSE OF EUROPE IS ESSENTIAL

Senator WILEY. In spite of all that it is your opinion that the advice given to this committee by the military staff is sound?

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, Senator, I do not know completely what the advice is, except what I have read. I think that Europe is important enough for us to take a risk in trying to defend it, and I think that these divisions ought to be sent, but I do think that what we are going to have to prevent is its being a completely American operation and the only way we can do that and get these countries to make greater sacrifices than they are now making will be by the ratio system, even though I know all of the objections to that.

Senator WILEY. For our own safety, and for the safety of the freedoms that we represent or spearhead, do you think Europe is our first line of defense?

EUROPE, THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE

Mr. KENNEDY. I think it is important for us to have Europe free and I think that it is equally important for us to deny Europe to Russia, and I think for that reason Europe is our first line of defense.

I think, in addition, of course, that if the Russians chose to move this summer or by the beginning of 1952, nothing we can do in the meanwhile is going to be sufficient to build up land forces in Europe strong enough to stop them and therefore I think we have to base part of our defense policy on the assumption that Europe may be lost. We hope that there will not be a war within that time, and that by the end of 1952 or the beginning of 1953, the Europeans with us will have sufficient forces to deter them from attack, particularly if we can get the Western Germans in on an acceptable basis.

SITUATION IN WESTERN GERMANY

Senator WILEY. Did you get any reactions as to the condition of the morale and attitude of the East Germans?

Mr. KENNEDY. No, I did not. I did not get any information on that.

Senator WILEY. I might say that recently there have been some Germans here from West Germany. Among other things, I recall one very important man saying that he thought that if a general election could be held in all of Germany, a great percentage of it, running up into the nineties, would go to the West.

Mr. KENNEDY. A poll that the high commissioner recently released, and polls are not always accurate, showed only a slim percentage of Germans favored linking their destiny with the west, and only 10 percent said if they were drafted would they serve in a Western European Army. I think the Germans are interested in unifying Germany and getting back some of the area lost in the war. They are tired of war and casualties. The biggest disappointment of my trip, because I think West Germany is essential, both because of its productions and its location, and because we need its manpower, was to find the total unwillingness of the Germans to join in this defense effort.

Senator WILEY. I thank you.

Senator LODGE. Senator Morse?

Senator MORSE. I yield to Senator Hickenlooper.

Senator LODGE. I thought the custom was to recognize first a Senator from the Foreign Relations Committee and then a Senator from the Armed Services Committee.

Senator GEORGE. I want to commend you for what I think is a very clear statement of your point of view. The question I am going to ask you I want to assure you in advance is an impersonal one, although you might at first blush think it is a personal question, I mean it not as personal.

SHOULD WE HOLD EUROPE?

You come from a very distinguished American family that exercises a great influence on American public opinion. I want to ask you very impersonally, whether you remember the able speech of your father in December 1950? I think you know me well enough to know that I do not share his point of view, but I respect his sincerity. But in that speech he said in part:

The first step in pursuit of this policy is to get out of Korea.

I am not going to discuss that, because that is beyond the scope of this hearing. But in the next paragraph he said:

The next step in pursuit of this policy is to apply the same principle to Europe. Today it is idle talk of being able to hold the line at the Elbe or the line at the Rhine. Is it not best to get out now? The truth is that our only real hope is to keep Russia, if she chooses to march, on the other side of the Atlantic. It may be that Europe for a decade or a generation or more, will turn communistic.

Now, my question is this: Am I right in my interpretation of your testimony here today that although you think there is a danger or a possibility that Europe might go communistic, nevertheless you think we should take such steps now as we can in cooperation with our allies in Europe, to prevent her from going communistic, and not get out of Europe now, as was indicated, if I read his language right, by your father in his December speech?

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, in the first place, when I say "going communistic," I mean that if the Russians should attack within the next year, certainly at the rate we are going and the rate that forces are being built up in Western Europe, obviously they could seize power in Western Europe, and we would have to reckon with that. But I do believe for myself, and I do not like to speak for my father, because I think he could do that better than I could, that the alternative of losing Europe and losing its productive facilities, and so forth, would be such that while I think we could survive, it would be difficult and I think we should do our utmost within reason to save it. Therefore, I am in favor of sending these four divisions. But I also got an impression, from my trip, of the difficulty of building a Western European army of sufficient force soon enough, and I think it partly explains my father's position: If you look at it factually, how can sufficient forces be built up in any reasonable time in Western Europe at the rate we are going now — when West Germany is not in it, when Italy is limited by a peace treaty, when Spanish troops are not accepted, when Portugal and Denmark are small countries, when the Dutch effort is limited, and when France and Great Britain are going to have carry most of the burden. To him and to a lot of other Americans it looks like an almost hopeless job and that we are committing troops to be lost.

But after adding up all of these factors and considering them as cold-bloodedly as I can, I still feel that we should take the risk to save Western Europe on the assumption that if a war does not take place for at least 18 months, by that time, by urging and prodding the Europeans with this ratio system, we will have sufficient forces to deter the Russians.

That is my position. I think you should ask my father directly as to his position.

Senator MORSE. That probably will be done. As I listened to your testimony I felt it meant that you thought we should go along with the recommendations of the Eisenhower program and our Defense Establishment, and take a stand now which would prevent Russia, if we can prevent her, from going over Europe, because of the great danger that her possession of Europe would be to the United States.

POSSIBILITY OF HOLDING EUROPE

I have only one or two more questions on that same problem. Although you think that it is very doubtful that we can prevent Russia from taking all of Europe, our Defense Establishment, however, believes that if we proceed with the recommendations that they are making, which includes not only the additional divisions to Europe, but includes also the allies in Europe doing their proportional share of that plan, that we could check Russia from taking all of Europe? Do you agree with me that this is the attitude of our Defense Establishment, as you understand it?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes. I think they think that we can in time build up sufficient forces to do that. But I do not think that we can go on the assumption that if Russia is going to take Western Europe, she will wait two years while we build up forces. I think every month that goes by when we are so weak and she is so strong is dangerous, and we should try to close that gap. We cannot do the impossible, but we should try to be strong enough to deter the Russians from attacking by the middle of 1952.

Senator MORSE. That is why I go along with the basic assumption, because while it may look to us that our effort is foredoomed to failure, nevertheless our military says that this is the program which we should follow as at least to exercise the best deterrent to keep her from taking Europe. If we follow that assumption of the military, I would then raise the question about your ratio proposal.

ADVISABILITY OF RATIO LIMITATION

I see your point of view on the ratio, but apparently we are participating in this program because we recognize the loss of Europe to Russia would be threat to America's security. And if that is why we are going in there, then why should we limit ourselves in advance of the discovery of unforeseen conditions in the future by a ratio formula, that might, in a given situation have the effect of weakening our own security? We might want to rush more divisions in there than your ratio calls for, not only as you pointed out to protect our men already there, which should not be overlooked. I think that we have some rights to protection, too.

But also, we might want to rush more divisions in there prior to an attack by Russia in order to deter her further from a decision to start an attack, and your ratio formula it seems to me would tie our hands and make that impossible.

Mr. KENNEDY. I think as I said before, that the ratio system could be dropped by the middle of 1952, when we had a clearer idea of the European effort. I think that we are going to be close to being strong enough by then that perhaps we could drop it. I am not advocating a ratio system in order to limit our contribution to Western Europe. It is not a backhanded way of trying to pull out of Western Europe. I am in favor of the ratio system in order to make the Europeans do more, and I think that if we do not do that, my conviction from this trip is that this thing is not going to be done quickly enough, that you imperil the troops that are already there by not getting sufficient support from the Europeans, and further months will be wasted before we reach this X point where we are strong enough to stop the Russians.

The Europeans can give a great many legitimate reasons why they cannot do more; their economic and physical exhaustion, the toll that two wars in one generation takes — you are familiar with this. But if we talk seriously of the defense of Western Europe, that is not enough. I think whatever it takes in the way of sacrifice; the job has to be done. Otherwise, if it is that tough, we just can't do it at all.

That is why I want the ratio system, to force them to do more.

I can see the bad points of it, but weighing them up together, I would still prefer the ratio system. If I have to choose between the difficulties you presented and the difficulties of not having the job done by the Europeans that I think should be done, I would take the ratio system.

EFFECT OF A RATIO ON EUROPEAN MORALE

Senator MORSE. Do you think that there is any danger at all in respect to European public opinion in adopting a ratio system that would be interpreted by them as an indication on our part that we questioned their good faith unless we make them sign on the dotted line in connection with the ratio agreement? Don't you think that would have a rather undesirable effect on both their morale and our relations with them?

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, they are not going to be happy about it, obviously, but after all, we are sending six American divisions; we are going to equip these countries, and I think we have the right to insist that they do a proportionate share.

It is not an unreasonable request, and I think if we do not do it, I just do not think that we are going to get the divisions from the Europeans.

CONGRESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Senator MORSE. I have one other question, and that goes to the suggestion in your testimony that Congress should take it and dictate the matter. Do you think that is subject to the interpretation of the people that we lack confidence in the Executive to administer our obligations under the North Atlantic Pact in accordance with the best national interest?

Mr. KENNEDY. No, but I think that there is a congressional responsibility in this matter, and there is no reason why we should not participate in this decision. It is difficult and we should all be involved one way or the other ourselves. If I can be convinced that this ratio system would be put in by the administration and adhered to, then I would be in support of them doing it, but I do not expect that is going to happen and therefore I feel that it is desirable in every way that Congress participate in this.

Senator MORSE. Do you think it actually involves congressional participation in the actual deployment of troops, which in times past has been assumed to be reserved to the Executive as the Commander in Chief?

Mr. KENNEDY. I think that that is a constitutional question, perhaps, Senator which you could probably answer.

Senator MORSE. I wish I could.

Mr. KENNEDY. I think perhaps we can do it though our appropriation power or in other ways that might be worked out.

Senator MORSE. I do not question our appropriation power, and I may have misunderstood you. I do not think your testimony is limited to our exercise of the appropriation power. I understood from your plan that you proposed a positive overt act on the part of Congress in laying down the policy as to the deployment of troops.

Mr. KENNEDY. I did. I do not know whether you are raising the constitutional question.

Senator MORSE. I think that does raise questions of whether or not that is an interference with the powers of the Commander in Chief, rather than a carrying out of the congressional power to raise an army by way of appropriation.

Even though I did not share completely your views, either as to the ratio or as to this congressional power, nevertheless I am glad you have made a statement so clearly for the record in presenting your point of view.

Mr. KENNEDY. Thank you, Senator.

Senator WILEY. Might I just, in view of that last statement of Senator Morse's, ask a question?

THE CHAIRMAN. All right.

Senator WILEY. Did I understand you to say that in your opinion it was the constitutional right and power of the Congress to implement the Atlantic Pact treaty in the manner you have suggested?

Mr. KENNEDY. No. I did not say it was. I said that I would like to see it done, but there was some question raised, I think, by the Senator about whether it involved a constitutional question, and I do not know the complete answer to that. I would like to see it done if it is constitutionally possible, and I would like to have it supervised by the Congress.

Senator WILEY. Irrespective of whether the power is lodged in the Executive to implement, or lodged in the Congress to implement it isn't there also another angle to this? In view of the public confusion, the Executive and the Congress should get together on this, if it humanly possible, and arrive at some solution that is compatible with both views?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, sir. I think that we in the Congress should be committed on this thing, ourselves.

THE CHAIRMAN. Senator Russell?

DIFFICULTY OF FIXING A RATIO

Senator RUSSELL. Congressman Kennedy, have you prepared any legislation that would embrace this theory of a ratio?

Mr. KENNEDY. No, sir.

Senator RUSSELL. I should also like to have a ratio of some kind, and I would like to see the administration adopt one, but I think if you start drafting something along that line you will find it is rather difficult. I had heard quite a bit about these ratios and percentages. It is one of those things that are very simple to talk about, but that they are going to be exceedingly difficult to draft when you try to adopt them in the legislation itself. I shall be very anxious to see some legislative program or ratio or percentage that has actually been put on paper. I did not know whether you had one or not.

Mr. KENNEDY. No, sir.

Senator RUSSELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS BY OUR NATO PARTNERS

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Congressman Kennedy, during your visit to Europe, did you have occasion to look into the efforts being made in addition to the actual raising of troops by these countries by way of their military budgets or anything of that kind toward the implementation of this treaty? If so, what did you find out about that? If you have any figures on it, I would be glad to have you put them in.

Mr. KENNEDY. Of course, I visited only three countries, England, France, and Italy of the North Atlantic Pact, and then went to West Germany, and Yugoslavia and Spain, but of these three countries. I would say that in percentage of its national income England was making the greatest sacrifice percentagewise, although not equal to the one we are going to be expected to make.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. I heard you say that a while ago. It was not exactly the point I was getting at.

As compared to their military budget of a year or so ago, let us say, how does the present military budget or proposal of those countries compare?

Mr. KENNEDY. Great Britain has increased her appropriation for defense from to and now is going to spend 4.5 billion pounds over a period of 3 years for defense.

Italy has just put into effect a supplemental appropriation of $400,000,000 for defense purposes which can be spent this year. This sum is added to her normal defense expenditure of about $500,000,000, which includes pensions, and so forth.

CHANGES IN FRENCH BUDGETS

The figures for France are more complicated. I would say that a good deal of the supposed increase in their military budget appears to have been accomplished by a reclassification of items formally appearing in the nonmilitary section of the budget and in increased grants by the United States to the French for military purposes.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Do you have available for a breakdown these specific items that you are referring to at the moment?

Mr. KENNEDY. I just have a breakdown of their budgets in general terms of what they used for defense, but not their actual expenditures.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Do you have an approximation of the amount that they have transferred from their civil budget to the military budget?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Could you give us a picture of that?

Mr. KENNEDY. The French military budget for 1950 was $997,000,000, if francs are translated into dollars at the free exchange rate of 1 franc equal to $0.00285. The French military budget for 1951 is $2,109,000,000, making the supposed increase $1,112,000,000, or more than double the 1950 military budget.

But if you break this supposed increase down, you will find that $220,000,000 of it is the result of reclassification of items — moving items from the civil to the military budget. In addition, part of the increase was due to American military grants to the amount of $399,000,000. Thus only about one-third of the increase in the 1951 military budget was the result of a direct military increase in the French budget.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. A direct increase of the total budget?

Mr. KENNEDY. That is right, of the total military budget.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. That is what I was wanting to get at, as to whether or not these alleged increases in the military budget are actually in francs or the equivalent of dollar increases or whether they represented a little high government finagling with their bookkeeping system.

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, of course, all those budgets are difficult to break down. It may not be finagling.

It may be that it should have been there originally, but from the point of view of what we want to see about the increase —

Senator HICKENLOOPER. But the point I am trying to get at is this: When they tell us that the French have increased their military budget from $1,000,000,000 equivalent to $2,100,000,000, it is not a federal statement of actual increase, but the increase is represented about two-thirds by the transportation of items in their erstwhile civil budget, over into what they call their military budget, and it becomes a military budget taken by itself.

Mr. KENNEDY. And by American assistance.

EUROPE'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE PREVENTION OF AGGRESSION

Senator HICKENLOOPER. I think that is a very fruitful field for explanation, as to what they are doing by way of increasing their self-help. We have been told repeatedly here that the sending of four divisions of American troops to Europe is a step to assure the ability to defend against aggression from the east. I want to ask you what you found out about whether or not the mere sending of four divisions of American troops over there, in addition to what we already have, will assure us that aggression can be stopped from the east, or is that predicated upon the Western European countries producing fully the amount of troops and equipment and all the rest of the things that they suggest or say that they will produce in the future? In other words, will the mere fact of our sending four divisions over there at this time assure the prevention of aggression, or don't the European countries have to completely live up to what they say they can do in building this European army?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, sir. I think that is obvious that Europe must furnish the majority of the troops for this North Atlantic army.

Secondly, I do not think the European military plans that they have already made are sufficient themselves. I think that they must be increased, and I think that the only way you will get them increased is by the ratio system. But it must be recognized that even under the best of conditions, it will be at least a year before there will be sufficient divisions under the command of General Eisenhower to deter the Russians from attacking.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Have you kept in rather intimate touch with the situation for the last couple of years since the North Atlantic Pact was approved here, and the Military Assistance Pact?

Mr. KENNEDY. Not intimately, no.

PROGRESS UNDER THE MDAP

Senator HICKENLOOPER. The reason for that question is this: It has been almost 2 years now since the Military Assistance Pact or since the North Atlantic Treaty Pact and the military aid program were put into effect. At that time, we were given a period of a year and a half during which the implementation was to go on and we were to have a very substantial implementation in Europe?

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, the Americans that are in Europe say that there has been a substantial amount of progress.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Could you observe that?

Mr. KENNEDY. Relatively there has been a lot of progress made because nothing was being done 2 years ago. But a great deal of this program is the result of American efforts and will be in the future. We are supplying the weapons — we are going to supply them with raw materials for their own rearmament production, in some countries, we are going to help protect them from the inflation that results from increased defense expenditures.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Do you find that we have already sent equipment over there?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, but we have only begun. For example, we haven't given anything of any appreciable value to Italy; the program is in its infancy there. I think France is further ahead.

To answer it, I think progress has been made, relatively, but in relation to the job to be done, I do not think enough has been made.

WHAT IF EUROPE DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE ITS SHARE?

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Let me ask you this question, if you have come to any conclusion on it or not. Let us suppose we sent four more divisions to Europe. These divisions are to be all part of the North Atlantic Pact forces. Let us say we might send another division or two in addition to four, and a year goes on, or a year and a half, and no substantial number of troops have been even then raised, by these countries in addition to what they already have in being, and available to this integrated army now. What, then, should we do? Should we send more troops on top of what we already have sent to this army that is mostly ours, or should we pull those troops back out on the theory that the European countries have not developed as we thought they should have?

Mr. KENNEDY. I doubt that latter would happen. I do not see us pulling out because they have not developed the necessary forces. That does not sound as it would be a feasible alternative. What I think will happen will be that the American commitment will get greater and greater, that the number of American troops there is going to increase because there will not be enough European forces, and because the caliber of some of the European forces may not be certain.

The fact that there is an American head of the North Atlantic army, an American Chairman of the Council of Deputies, an American Coordinator of Defense Production, that fact that America is supplying most of the equipment for this army, and that America will have the largest naval and air units indicates that this is getting to be an American venture which is going to have to continue to be enlarged and supported by Americans. I do not think that there is any doubt about it.

INCREASING RESPONSIBILITY OF THE UNITED STATES IN EUROPE

Senator LODGE. Does that mean, in your opinion, that we would be increasingly assuming the primary responsibility for the land defense of Europe, taking it on our own shoulders increasingly as that situation developed?

Mr. KENNEDY. I do not think that there is any doubt that we have assumed the responsibility to a great degree for the land defense of Western Europe, both in the way of armed forces, responsibility from the standpoint of equipment, and so forth, and I think that the American responsibility is going to continue to grow and grow. I think that the only way we are going to get corresponding European cooperation is by this ratio system. It is not an attractive solution, but it is the best that we can develop. I am afraid if you do not do that, we will really be in a difficult situation a year from now, and that while some of the European troops that we have will be good, I think that you will find that Eisenhower will be increasingly concerned about the position of the American troops there, as the Congress will be, and I think our commitments will continue to grow in far greater relationship than the European efforts will grow.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Do you think that we might under those circumstances eventually get into the position where the Europeans say to us, "Let's you and him fight," and take the full burden and responsibility of that defense?

Mr. KENNEDY. I think there seems to be some indication that that is already true, not among the leaders of the governments, obviously. I think that they are all trying to do what they think they can do, but to sum it up, I think we have to expect more from them and they have to produce more if we are going to do this job successfully.

NEUTRALITY FEELINGS IN EUROPE

Senator HICKENLOOPER. Let me ask you this, and I have to ask you this because the statement has been made to me on some occasions by people who have been in some of these European countries. Without doubt they have their own bias, their own particular viewpoint. But the statement has been made to me a number of times that in talking to businessmen and citizens of some of those countries over there, they have repeatedly got this opinion or this statement from those people: "Don't be naive. We are not going to arm to the teeth, because we will be overrun and we feel our lot would be better in case of an invasion from the East if we did not resist militarily: that though some of our leaders would be killed off, not so many of our people would be butchered than if we stood up for a futile period of time and resisted the Russians and we aroused their ire and had them come in and destroy our people and institutions as conquerors rather than as pure invaders."

Do you find that?

Mr. KENNEDY. I am sure some people feel that way, but it is obviously not the policy of the government in those countries. Certainly in West Germany quite a few Germans do and I am sure that in all these countries there are groups that vary in size that feel that way.

Senator HICKENLOOPER. I think that is all.

THE CHAIRMAN. Senator George?

Senator GEORGE. I have no questions.

THE CHAIRMAN. Senator Cain?

ADDITIONAL MILITARY PRODUCTION IN EUROPE

Senator CAIN. Mr. Kennedy, when General Eisenhower was recently here, I understood him to testify that it was his view that the biggest contribution America could make to Western Europe was in the field of equipment: military weapons, and so on. It is true that when the MDAP program was established, a considerable amount of emphasis was placed on the title "Additional Military Production," the assumption being that for the past 2 years much of the industrial capacity of Western Europe, and I am thinking at the moment particularly of Italy, could be used to produce the weapons required by Western Europe.

Now, in your recent travels abroad, how much did you see of that additional production program, and to what extent do you think it is helping to provide Europe with its own arms?

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, of course. Italy's production of war materials is limited by the peace treaty to her own needs. As you know, they can't send any airplane engines or other things that they might make very satisfactorily outside of the country. But even taking this into consideration, the program in Italy is in its infancy. It is a very limited program as yet in all of those countries, but in Italy it is particularly limited. I do not think that as much has been done in Europe in this regard as we may imagine.

Senator CAIN. Again, what did you see, Mr. Kennedy? Did you think the major share of the weapons required by Western Europe in the next few years must come from the United States?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, sir; either through direct contribution or through giving them the means by which they can manufacture their own equipment.

Senator CAIN. I apologize first for not have been here throughout the entire part of your statement.

ADVISABILITY OF A RATIO

If I understand your position, you would like to believe that some sort of a ratio could be worked out through which the American people would know with more certainty what the European was going to do and the European would be more encouraged to do more for himself. That is approximately your position?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, sir.

Senator CAIN. Do you feel that way in part because of our experience in Korea?

I seek in this question not to embarrass anybody. I am mindful of the fact that when all of the free nations signed a resolution to stop the aggressor, America made a considerable and spontaneous and instantaneous contribution, and it was certainly hoped that other European nations would carry out that declaration and help us in that war in Korea in a more substantial fashion.

Well, the war has been going on now for better than 7 months, and some nations with whom we are associated in that pact have not as yet found it possible to make any substantial contribution.

Do you have that in part in mind when you are anticipating what is going to happen in the future?

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, I think it was more because I believe that the programs of these governments are not going to give us sufficient divisions soon enough.

Ten divisions this year from France: four divisions from England; two from Belgium, and several from Italy. Except for these, I do not really see any substantial forces set up under the command of General Eisenhower save from the United States. That is what made me feel they have to do more than they are doing.

Senator CAIN. You are interested in more than just an announcement, which is a hope for the future. You would like to see it in some sort of contract that has a due date, but if the United States is going to deliver four battle-ready divisions by such-and-such a date---

Mr. KENNEDY. I originally said that sending these four was a reasonable step, but over the balance of the period, for every additional division we send, six must come from them. I think that if you do not do this, I do not see how we are going to have sufficient forces before 1953 to hold back the Russians if they should attack.

Senator CAIN. Everyone is going to have to extend himself in this program if he is going to be successful.

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, sir.

THE CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

WILL EUROPE CONTRIBUTE ENOUGH

I am sorry, Mr. Kennedy, but I was not here at the beginning of your testimony. I think you testified a while ago that you thought Western Europe was our first line of defense. Did you say that?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, sir.

THE CHAIRMAN. If that is true, are you not in favor of strengthening Western Europe all that we can?

Mr. KENNEDY. I am in favor of sending these troops that we are talking about to Western Europe.

THE CHAIRMAN. These four divisions?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, sir.

THE CHAIRMAN. These four divisions?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, sir.

THE CHAIRMAN. You said something about the rest of the nations might not go along, might not provide what is expected of them. As I recall the testimony of General Eisenhower, he said he was going to constantly insist on these other governments doing their part, and if they don't we can probably withdraw.

Mr. KENNEDY. General Eisenhower, in the speech made before Congress, said he would like to have brought back comparable statistics so he could give us some idea of the effort these European countries were making. But he said he could not do so. I feel these statistics would have told a revealing story about the degree of effort that these European countries are making, and in not bringing them back, General Eisenhower was not completely frank with the Congress. Because of that, I think we are going to have to insist on such a hardboiled formula as I suggest under the supervision of the Congress. I don't see how you can go ahead on the assumption that they are going to do it, and then if they have not done it by the middle of 1952, pull out. That will never happen. We have to determine the policy now; otherwise we may find in 1952 that we do not have a strong European army there. We will not be able to pull out, and we will have to increase the number of American troops.

THE CHAIRMAN. Then you do favor the sending of the four divisions because of the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes; I think that Western Europe is important enough for us to take that risk.

THE CHAIRMAN. You are not, then, in favor of the Wherry resolution?

Mr. KENNEDY. I am not in favor of it so far as the Wherry resolution has to do with the sending of these divisions over there. I am in favor of the Congress supervising the program which I understand is part of the Wherry resolution.

THE CHAIRMAN. Do you think that all of the troops over there, and what they do, should be controlled by Congress?

Mr. KENNEDY. I think the ratio should be controlled by Congress that this plan of setting up a ratio of 6 to 1 will have to put through by the Congress. I think that otherwise it will not be done.

THE CHAIRMAN. Are you a lawyer?

Mr. KENNEDY. No; I am not.

THE CHAIRMAN. You are aware, are you not, of the constitutional provisions that the President is Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy and so on, are you not?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes.

THE CHAIRMAN. Do you want the control of the Army turned over to Congress?

Mr. KENNEDY. I would want the Congress to set the policy of six European divisions for every one we send there. I would put no limit on the number of American divisions we send so long as this ratio system was in effect. I am not trying to limit the American effort. I am trying to bring the European effort up to match it, considering that we have responsibilities elsewhere and that most of their equipment is going to come from the United States, I do not think that is unreasonable.

THE CHAIRMAN. Are there any other questions?

Senator WHERRY. Mr. Congressman, I did not have a chance to ask you any questions, but I want to thank you for appearing.

THE CHAIRMAN. You can ask questions now, if you want to.

DETERMINATION OF POLICY BY CONGRESS

Senator WHERRY. I will ask this one question then. Regardless of whether this one division is committed, 6, 60, or whatever it is, you feel that the Congress of the United States should determine that policy?

Mr. KENNEDY. I do.

Senator WHERRY. There has been a lot of talk here about our obligation to these countries. In fact, Senator Morse said, "If you exact an agreement out of them, do you think they will look with suspicion on the United States if they did not fulfill their agreement?" There is not an obligation on the fathers and mothers of the United States of America, is there?

Mr. KENNEDY. If our boys go over there the Europeans should meet that ratio.

Senator WHERRY. I know you want to get to Charlottesville, VA., by 6 o'clock. I deeply appreciate your having been here this afternoon.

THE CHAIRMAN. Do the 100,000 boys that you have in Europe now have mothers and fathers? They have, haven't they?

Mr. KENNEDY. Certainly. They certainly do. The only thing is unless we do as I suggest, these four divisions are going to be in peril, too, so long as this disparity in strength exists.

THE CHAIRMAN. Anybody we send over there is going to be in peril, no matter whether you send one man or a dozen or a hundred thousand.

Mr. KENNEDY. And there will be a pressure to increase the number of American divisions over there. If this is going to be done, it must be matched by the Europeans in this ratio of 6 to 1.

Senator WHERRY. One more question in view of the chairman's question.

Don't you differentiate between the occupation forces to Germany and the forces that are now being asked for to implement the North Atlantic Treaty?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes; but in effect they are the same.

Senator WHERRY. We have no forces in Europe today under the provisions of the pact, have we?

Mr. KENNEDY. No, sir.

Senator WHERRY. Under the occupational force, of course we have to supply those forces, and we take the judgment of the Chiefs of Staff, so that whatever happens in the occupational zone, has no bearing, has it, on the implementation of the treaty prior to attack?

Mr. KENNEDY. Can you ask that again?

Senator WHERRY. I think you have already answered it. The thing is, implementing the North Atlantic Treaty prior to attack is an entirely new obligation we are assuming now, and you want the Congress to determine that.

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, Senator.