Georgetown forum; Students on U.S. foreign policy
Students look at U.S. foreign policy and the topic for the eleven hundred ten fifty fourth consecutive broadcast of the Georgetown University radio forum. Another in a series of educational and informative programs from Washington D.C. The Georgetown forum was founded in 1946. This is Wallace Manning speaking to you by transcription from the Raymond Rice studio on the campus of Georgetown University historic Jesuit seat of learning in the nation's capital. Today's discussion will be the students look at U.S. foreign policy participating are Mr. William a bell junior Foreign Service officer and a member of the Department of State open forum panel and three students from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service members of the International Relations Club and organizers of the National Student symposium on U.S. foreign policy. They are Mr. Dean Curran misdeed Kelly and Mr. Stephen Craven.
We hear so much today about the turmoil caused by some young people that the constructive activities of the majority often go unnoticed something that deserves both notice and recognition. Is the National Student symposium on United States foreign policy held at Georgetown University December 19th through 22nd involving college and university students from all parts of the country. The Symposium completely organized by Stephens was sponsored by the college wing of the United Nations Association and hosted by Georgetown University's International Relations Club. The broadest spectrum of political thought was represented from extreme left to extreme right. With every political shade in between. Students participated in 14 discussion groups covering the most important aspects of our foreign policy. We feel that students who care enough to brave the flu and give up part of their Christmas
vacations deserve to tell their story. So today the Georgetown University forum has invited three student organizers of the symposium and the State Department official who acts as a liaison between private and governmental groups. We're going to begin by asking Mr. Kern about the beginning the idea for the National Student symposium on United States foreign policy with Graham. Thank you Mr. Fanning. I think the main reason that the idea was can see I mean there were two main reasons. The first was because there was a somewhat dissatisfaction with the type of conference that existed for college students and the means that they could express themselves constructively. Those conferences that existed were mainly where students played a passive role. They went and they listened to these so-called experts people from the State Department came and told them what foreign policy was and the students were supposed to absorb this. Our idea was to reverse the procedure and have the
students come. The students who had participated in these conferences were students who have their own views and they have done reading and find out what their views were. So this symposium was intended to be a forum for for the views of the students that they had accumulated over their over their experiences students attending other conferences and their studies. And another reason was to bring a degree of relevancy a realistic objective a specific objective to the statement of the views not simply stating the views and nothing coming of them but rather the idea to compendiums views into a report which would be presented to members of the new administration to members of the ninety first Congress for their reaction. So I think these are the two main reasons that the symposium was conceived of and organize a degree of relevancy to what Mr. Kirn
degree of relevancy to to students. Students feel they have an important role to play in this country. There are a lot of students. They they feel toward it in their efforts I think this is why you see them out in the street so much so we wanted to make something that they could do constructive relit I think we were to a degree successful already in the fact that Secretary of State designate William Rogers had our half interview with about 10 of the participants during the symposium to find out exactly what their ideas were and what the consensus was of the symposium was going to have an EO observation this time only symposium I think the students run the thing that we see. We noticed is that there is a great deal of interest on the part of students to help help that if not it's more involvement rather than intervention. I think that we saw in the in the symposium this trend there was to be more economical given to the developing nations. There was two
less military intervention there. I think all of the participants showed a great deal of interest in helping those very constructive symposium I think the most craven Europe there was. I feel that a major factor in the results is the degree of moderation that we show all political views. Seem to be considered in the debates. But when it finally came to deciding on what U.S. foreign policy should be in the next few years we showed a degree of practicality which I think will surprise the public. I think it points out that not all students take to the streets where long lines. I think this degree of practicality carries some hope for the future. Well now by a degree of practicality do you mean that there were not any very great departures from policy as there were some very significant departures. However take the example of what
you just mentioned more aid for developing nations less military aid. We also suggested more reliance on international organizations. The degree of practicality entered specific suggestions that came up in the conference as to how we can do this. We didn't just come out and say for example we should get out of Vietnam. We should give everything to everybody else in the world. We didn't do this. We said specifically how we should do this. We tried to give reasons. I think this is where the practicality counters Mr. Bell. Well I'd like to say first the open forum on the State Department which I remember has begun to seek out the view of people such as yourself so they symposium what you're discussing that we feel that the State Department has long isolated
itself from the views of students in particular. And what I feel is important perhaps is not as much the substance of what you just cited but the fact that you decided something and then were able to present it to in this case Secretary designate Rogers. The fact that he heard you. The fact that you represent yourselves as students from a broad cross-section and you told him we think this and this and this. Perhaps the ideas themselves were hardly new to him. But for years the State Department has been influenced by other what we might call a lobby groups or interest groups and the open forum Powell is now trying to get the input of students into the policy making machinery to the extent that it's relevant. And you have in effect short circuit us which we heartily applaud by having directly got the air of Mr. Rogers normally our attempt is to convey to him what a meeting such as yours spoke
about. I think something that would be of particular interest to you was some of the recommendations that the students made on the formulation the actual formulation of foreign policy. One of them was that the executive branch the State Department the president has too much to say about it. And as a matter of fact the students would like it as it was stated in the report for the Congress to assume its constitutional duty to take a larger role. Specifically this was represented in support for the proposed Fulbright Mansfield's resolution that major troop commitments in the future should be approved by Congress before they are allowed to take place. And I'm interested in the fact that you are limited to the specific area such as major troop commitments. Because I feel in other things is perhaps beneficial to the sense of your resolutions at the State Department does have perhaps a preemptive role in this not
consider the role of Congress to the extent that some people would like if the State Department were completely reliant upon the will of Congress. It's very doubtful that we would have as good a foreign aid program. And I'm not saying our thoughts with it but we still are pretty good program. This is mainly because the executive department has taken action without waiting for the leadership from Congress. So I hope you won't preempt the executive branch completely from taking primary action in foreign policy as a matter of fact in the committee I worked on a good many of our proposals agree almost entirely with what the Council of Economic Advisors is predicating for the last year and it was also felt at least in the field of international development that we approve of what the executive branch has been trying to do and disapprove strongly of some of the things that Congress has done so the both sides of the coin do manage to get in on
this. I wonder if you felt maybe Scully could answer this whether your rather was instructing the executive branch or rather taking the decisions that you came to and going back to the locality of the universities and talking to the electorate is large large because when you get in the role of Congress after all it's the electorate at large that counts. So would you be posing the question what would what would be right I'm really posing the theory that perhaps it's not the State Department or the executive branch per se that needs to be educated but student views should be expanded to the population as a whole rather than just centering upon a spear of crabs here in Washington. Yes this is what we hope to do by publishing the report but we think that. We want to be as you say the word I think the short circuit. I think that we wanted to make something we wanted to have an impact. But I think it's important that the electorate know what we
do because we do feel that we do have a role that we're an interest group I think and I think that and even in this report that was mentioned just a while ago about the formulation of U.S. policy interest groups are important. That was the consensus of the group and they must be heard. I mean you don't have to criticize and they have to you know they must be constructive themselves but I think that this is what we're trying to do with her and we said at the beginning of the broad spectrum of political thought was represented in the symposium. Do you feel what all factions responded to the invitations as widely as you had anticipated at the beginning to the come trusting that it would be what it pertained to be on the face or purported to be on the face or. Well I'm sure that most of our participants had very divergent views on what they hope to get from the symposium and what they actually expected from this symposium. We were somewhat disappointed in that a major section of the students in the
country that is black power advocates did not seem to be in evidence. I realized that this doesn't have anything specifically to do with foreign policy but this is a major portion or an articulate portion of students and we were somewhat disappointed in that. On the other hand Haitians issued May I see it was very broadly issued we got the cooperation of many student organizations student Endemol a CPA as a matter of fact we one of the cooperating organizations was doing Young Republicans Young Democrats. National Student Association editors of newspapers organizations such as this. They helped us issue our report. Such organizations as the students for a democratic society and Young Americans for Freedom while refusing to be cooperating organizations did have participants and were represented. Well I should emphasize that every student that was here gave his views as an individual. We didn't have people representing a college or an organization they were speaking as individuals and giving their own views.
How was the symposium administrated. Well this is very interesting because we discussed this among the participants a great deal this was of high interest because one of the discussion groups was the student role. What could students do. So the actual structure that we had played a large role that was discussed by the participants. Their conclusion was it was too structured. Our major aim was that it be a little structured as possible. We put them in very small discussion groups and gave them a moderator who had the instructions to simply keep them on their discussion group topic and let them say whatever they wanted and encourage confrontation among views on some of the participants felt that even this was too much structure. But we try to make it loosely structured. Everyone who was in the administration of it was a student. We didn't we have our own ideas. We didn't express these ideas. We just wanted their own ideas. So. It was Hopefully it was a loosely structured. So what were
some of these 14 discussion groups for example. We sort of divided equally between concentration on geographic areas which is the traditional way of approaching this at least from a student viewpoint. And then some of the more overriding issues some of the geographic areas were of course Vietnam China or the Soviet Union check stock in Eastern Europe the Middle East some of the disk discussion groups which dealt with more general topics were I'm so controlling disarmament the formulation of policy the role of students in policy international human rights convention and as Steve was mentioning before one of the most productive ones was Internet on International Trade and Development. The role the United States had to play in that. And what would be your estimate of how those who attended went away from the symposium are generally satisfied that they had accomplished something or it's difficult to say. We don't know whether these recommendations will be considered. I
don't know. I mean accepted or rejected but even considered and they don't really know either. And so if we consider that the major purpose of the symposium The question is debatable. I personally consider the major purpose of the symposium something that Mr. Bell mentioned and orientation that this is recognized as constructive activity not so much the substance of the recommendations but is that students are participating and that they can be listened to. I think this was successful. The secretary of state designee listened and the students themselves listened to each other and were confronted with one another's views and I think you in that regard was very successful. Mr. Craven I think we should also mention the idea that this was an educational venture that many of the students arrived at the symposium without a formulation of their ideas on the various topics we discussed. It was an educational venture to the extent that the students could formulate ideas they could listen to the
ideas of the other students there. And generally I feel that everyone learned a great deal about U.S. foreign policy and about various alternatives. What would be your suspicion why. SB Yes I think you said did not participate formally as that is that. How did you put that exactly. They were not officially cooperating organizations. They were contacting young Americans for well there were other ones Young Americans for Freedom for example. I dont know specifically why they were not. However they did see to it that they had people who were members of their organizations. I dont really think that that is particularly important who was a cooperating witness a shooting who was not because the role of a cooperating organization and this was simply to help get dissidents there. They had nothing specific to say about how it was organized. Mr. Bell getting back to. The end result of this the thing that impresses me greatly is the fact that there was a fairly high degree of
unanimity on the resolutions you came to this. I don't imagine you claim to speak for six million students but the fact that you did get a pretty wide cross-section together and come up with some pretty strong conclusions that weren't platforms or something for everybody. But the fact that there was a sense within most of the issues discussed I wonder first if you could tell me how how you arrived at such a stance was it pure voting or that people after a while just say we agree on such and such. I can mix I can speak from experience of being a moderator of one of the groups organization and they mentioned a little while ago I buried it all depended on how each moderator interpreted his role. But within a group in the south we had to write our policy our topic with United States is an Asian power and we had to divide the United States at the will of the United States in Asia into United States and Japan United States and the Philippines United States and Indonesia.
So each member of our group took one area and were thought of as they came in they presented specific proposals from within the committee who voted on them and we changed the wording and then on Sunday we presented our report to the. The plenary meeting just moved to our resolution. I'm going to go to the place the hall and if it was accepted that when I thought policy in China and some other one of the other ones didn't like the majority report and so what they did was they voted on one of the ports which became the report of the plenary session. I think some of the other committees the procedure was slightly different. I know in the committee I was working on International Trade and Development. What we did is we would discuss a problem for
an extended length of time and the repr tour would note how many people were speaking for position how many people were speaking against it and then after we finished discussing the problem I would just suggest to the group is this. Is this the consensus of what we have been saying does anybody disagree with this. Occasionally there would be disagreement we would discuss the problem more and try to reach a true consensus used to find in the Steve that there is absolute respect for the concept of majority rule and democratic privet one of the things that's bothered officials with the State Department at times is that certain people claim yes I'm a minority but I'm right and they will draw upon some higher moral or higher authority and fail to respect the rule of the majority I wondered if this came up with in your discussions as well.
As far as I noticed there was a tremendous amount of respect for majority rule and yet at the same time we did not go to the other extreme and have a dictatorship of the majority. Everyone everyone an equal opportunity to speak and as far as I could tell everyone took that opportunity. But I think some of the specific recommendations now if we may what about Vietnam what would students do about that and I think they professionally covered this in more detail. Scout as we said in the beginning there was a great deal of and a. Great deal of emphasis placed on the economic and social developments of the country in Vietnam. The specific proposals were that there be a gradual troop withdrawal but at the same time there would be more economic aid which would be channeled through international organization a gradual troop withdrawal just a gradual troop withdrawal backgrounder version anything else
in the report. It really said there was this idea that it would be a gradual to troop withdrawal but not the stock price any of these countries to what the threat would be you know whether you could call it a communist threat or North Vietnamese threat there is that this is one thing I would like to stress that the students felt that we wouldn't withdraw. To allow people to you know that it would be detrimental withdraw it would be constructively drawn and it would be slow and systematic. But you know the word mutual is not of here. Yes as a matter of fact the the opening statement stresses that agreement has to be for the dissent the de-escalation of the war between North Vietnam and the United States or cynically and it is something that surprised me as an individual I didn't express my views but it did surprise me because I didn't think that this was what students felt the consensus that in recognition of the Nabbous National Liberation Front by the South Vietnamese government which was one of the
recommendations of the symposium conditions were placed upon that such that the National Liberation Front need to abrogate the idea of forces. Goal moving that's a political objective. And also renounce its alliance with the Lao dong Party of North Vietnam the Communist Party of North Vietnam. And these were conditions upon insisting that the South Vietnamese government recognize the NLF. I thought this was rather interesting. I don't know exactly if this is U.S. foreign policy right now. Perhaps it's either you or I but I would say here that maybe these conditions are harder than what some people who are in the policymaking process would necessarily sisterhood. And as Jagger was mentioning about the withdrawal specify specifically stated as a gradual withdrawal on both sides as a matter of fact. It's interesting to note that an amendment was proposed to the to the report in the plenary session calling for the immediate withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam.
And it was defeated. It was a very close vote but it was defeated. And I thought this was very interesting and I think it sort of expresses in a sense the type of idealism which is which was represented. People always talk about student idealism I think it was somewhat different here. Idealistically what we do want is to get out immediately. I think this was expressed by the symposium. But the idealism was tempered by the fact. Well realistically can we do that. No we can't. But we still want to hold our idealistic goals. But this is a more constructive way of trying to get out. All right. What about Czechoslovakia. I think that this is a good example of the emphasis that was placed on the cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union in many areas. It was recognized by all of the students that really given the
power structure that the nature of international license in the world today in areas such as Czechoslovakia in the Middle East and even to extend Vietnam nothing is going to happen constructively. And U.S. foreign policy is going to be thwarted in those areas unless the U.S. recognizes the role of the Soviet Union has to play that is specifically that there are series of interests that need to be recognized specifically in Czechoslovakia. Well we felt the students felt that the action of the so Soviet Union it was condemned. However it was recognized nevertheless that this was a sphere of interest and that the United States couldn't say anything about this. They did go to another step and talk about Yugoslavia and Austria for example and affirmed the right of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to intervene on behalf of those countries which I thought was very interesting compared to the position on the Soviet Union in the United States relations Mr. President.
Or they didn't might be interested. Interesting to note. Through the discussions in the various committees that dealt with problems connected with Eastern Europe there was a marked agreement that trade with Eastern Europe should be very much expanded. That we should recognize political realities and commercial realities and we should definitely open up more avenues between us and Eastern Europe. I think this was expressed in that discussion report on China that was that we should recognise or at least say we are willing to recognize the People's Republic of China and it's a matter of fact say that we are willing as one voting member of the United Nations to have been admitted. And very briefly on arms control and disarmament. You know I don't control development there with law. It was one thing of the concept of long long term disarmament that the present
policy that we think now should be very stringent on its control with all nations calling for the ratification of the no liberation treaty has very definitely missed a bell in the other remaining 20 seconds so how how do you feel about these recommendations do you think that their radical departure hardly as I was saying they may be more hardline than many people in the State Department feel what I think is important is that they were arrived at in a democratic way and that they are constructive and I think very well-informed. Thank you very much for your discussion of students to look at U.S. foreign policy I think to Mr. William a bell a junior Foreign Service officer and member of the Department of State open forum panel and three students from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Mr. Dean Curran missed Deidre Kelly and Mr. Stephen Craig. You have attended the weekly discussion program in the Georgetown University radio forum broadcast of which was transcribed in the
- Georgetown forum
- Students on U.S. foreign policy
- Producing Organization
- Georgetown University
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- This program features William A. Bell, Jr., foreign service officer and member of State Department Open Forum Panel; and three students from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service: Dean Krum, Deidre Kelly, and Steven Craven.
- Moderated by Wallace Fanning, this series presents a panel of guests discussing a variety of topics. The radio series launched in 1946. It also later aired on WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C. These programs aired 1968-69.
- Global Affairs
- Media type
Guest: Bell, William A.
Guest: Krum, Dean
Guest: Kelly, Deidre
Guest: Craven, Steven
Moderator: Fanning, Wallace
Producing Organization: Georgetown University
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-51-641 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Georgetown forum; Students on U.S. foreign policy,” 1969-01-10, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 18, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-r49g8q4k.
- MLA: “Georgetown forum; Students on U.S. foreign policy.” 1969-01-10. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 18, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-r49g8q4k>.
- APA: Georgetown forum; Students on U.S. foreign policy. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-r49g8q4k