Syllabus on International Relations

By Parker Thomas Moon; Institute of International Education (New York, N.Y.) | Go to book overview
Control, especially nos. 1, 3, 19b, 46b, etc. G. L. Dickinson, "Democratic Control of Foreign Policy" in Atlantic Monthly, Aug. 1916. Myers, "The Control of Foreign Relations" in Am. Pol. Sci. Review, Feb. 1917.Lodge, "Foreign Relations of the United States", in Foreign Affairs, June 1924. E. S. Corwin, The President's Control of Foreign Relations.
A. PARLIAMENTARY CONTROL.
1. Struggle for parliamentary control of foreign policy, originally between parliaments and monarchs, now chiefly between parliaments and cabinets.
2. Advantages and disadvantages of entrusting foreign policy to a president or a cabinet.
a. Advantage of having one man or a small body to represent the nation, act as spokesman, take prompt action in emergencies, conduct negotiations.
b. Danger of delay, partisan strife, and inexpert opinion if foreign policy is controlled largely by legislature.
c. Danger of excessive secrecy, or personal ambition, or rash judgment, or unrepresentative policies, if foreign relations are controlled by president or cabinet.
3. Parliamentary control in European practice.
a. Almost universal rule that negotiations are conducted by cabinet, particularly by premier and foreign minister.
b. Almost universal practice of allowing ministry to keep delicate negotiations secret.
c. Provisions in many constitutions giving legislature sole right to declare war and peace.
d. Communication of much secret information to legislatures in secret sessions or committee meetings, especially in France.
e. Agitation for parliamentary control in England (The Union of Democratic Control).
f. General result--foreign affairs conducted as a rule by cabinets, without much interference with details by parliaments, but occasional overturns of cabinets by parliaments.
4. Congressional control in American practice.
a. Conduct of negotiations, drafting of treaties, and appointment of diplomatic representatives by President (and his subordinate, the Secretary of State).
b. Declaration of war by Congress.
c. Ratification of treaties and confirmation of diplomatic appointments by Senate.
d. Inevitable friction between President and Senate.
i. John Hay's statement, "A treaty entering the Senate is like a bull going into the arena; no one can say just how or when the final blow will fall, but one thing is certain, it will never leave the arena alive."
ii. Washington's friction with Senate (Wright, op. cit., 361).
iii. Wilyon's controversy with Senate over Treaty of Versailles.
iv. Reasons for such chronic friction.

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