The Formulation and Administration of United States Foreign Policy

By H. Field Haviland; Robert E. Asher et al. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

By Senator J. W. Fulbright, Chairman Committee on Foreign Relations

In January of 1958 the Committee on Foreign Relations decided to undertake a review of conditions and trends in the world and of the policies and programs of the United States with respect thereto. That review grew, in part at least, out of the concern of the committee over the impact which Soviet scientific achievements might have upon our relations with the rest of the world.

From time to time throughout the spring of 1958, the committee held public hearings on U.S. policies respecting the Far East, the Near East, south Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Canada. Those hearings were limited in nature and served primarily to focus attention on the principal policies and problems of the United States in its relations with the rest of the world. For the most part, the hearings were limited to receiving testimony from the principal officers of the Department of State concerned with various geographic parts of the world. The committee also sought the testimony of selected nongovernmental witnesses with special knowledge of the areas under examination.

The hearings during the spring of 1958, the focus given to our relations with Latin America as a result of Vice President Nixon's visit there, and, lastly the then critical situation in the Middle East, all contributed to the committee's belief that the time had come for an exploration in depth of U.S. foreign policies throughout the world.

As a consequence of these factors, the Committee on Foreign Relations, in an executive session on May 20, 1958, authorized its Subcommittee on American Republics Affairs to undertake a study of United States-Latin American relations. At the same time, the committee established a special subcommittee, consisting of Senators Green, Fulbright, Wiley, and Hickenlooper, and directed it to explore the feasibility and desirability of a broad study of U.S. foreign policy throughout the world.

Subsequently, this subcommittee reported to the full Committee on Foreign Relations that it was feasible and desirable that the committee undertake such a study of foreign policy. It was felt a study of this nature might serve to develop fresh ideas and approaches to the foreign policy of the Nation and lead to a better national understanding of international problems and to more efficient and effective administration of our international operations.

On July 15, 1958, the Committee on Foreign Relations voted to report to the Senate a resolution authorizing the study. The Senate adopted this resolution (S. Res. 336, 85th Cong., 2d sess.) on July 31, 1958. The resolution authorized the Committee on Foreign Relations to "make a full and complete study of U.S. foreign policy." Without

-V-

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