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Statement by the President on the Recess Appointment of Philip C. Jessup to the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations.

October 22, 1951

ON September 13, 1951, I nominated 10 persons to represent this Nation in the sixth General Assembly of the United Nations which will convene in Paris on November 6 of this year.

A subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations reviewed the qualifications of all 10 nominees and held extensive hearings on one of them, Ambassador at Large Philip C. Jessup. The subcommittee reported favorably to the full committee on nine of the nominees, but reported unfavorably, by a 3 to 2 vote, on Ambassador Jessup. The full committee took no action on any of the nominees. However, on October 19, 1951, by a motion made on the Senate floor, the committee was discharged from further considering the appointments of nine of the nominees (all except Mr. Jessup), and the Senate gave its advice and consent to their appointment.

This leaves the nomination of Ambassador Jessup still before the Committee on Foreign Relations. Neither the full committee nor the Senate has taken action on it. When the Senate confirmed the other nine nominees, the chairman of the subcommittee pointed out that there had not been adequate opportunity for the full committee to study the record of the hearings on the qualifications of Ambassador Jessup; consequently, the Senate agreed by unanimous consent that the name of Ambassador Jessup be left "without prejudice" before the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Thus there are now nine members of the United States delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, and one vacancy. Under the Constitution, the President is empowered to fill vacancies in appointive offices during a recess of the Senate.

I regard appointments to the United States delegation to the United Nations General Assembly as among the most important that the President has to make. In the United Nations General Assembly, our representatives must deal, on behalf of the United States, with issues which affect the peace of the world, and the security and happiness of every person in our country.

I am appointing Ambassador Jessup to fill this vacancy because he has demonstrated by actual experience on numerous occasions that he is outstandingly well qualified for this position.

Ambassador Jessup has distinguished himself as a scholar, as a lawyer, and as a public servant. The Senate has confirmed Ambassador Jessup five times for positions of great trust; three confirmations were for the identical position to which I am now appointing him.

He has a remarkable record as a representative of this country in the United Nations. This Nation's chief delegate to the United Nations, former Senator Warren R. Austin, has observed at first-hand the skill and persuasiveness with which Mr. Jessup has dealt with complex problems as an American representative. He has stated emphatically that Ambassador Jessup is needed on the United Nations delegation this fall.

Leading members of the American Bar, of which the Ambassador is a member, have given him their unqualified endorsement. Prominent educators from all over the Nation have made known their support. Officials who have worked with him in the service of this Government have attested to his devotion to the interests and the welfare of this Nation.

The reasons for this support can be found in the record of Mr. Jessup's achievements. He played a vital role in the lifting of the Berlin blockade. He represented the United States with great skill at the meeting of deputy foreign ministers at Paris last spring. In the debates in the Security Council, he has spoken for freedom in ringing tones that have made themselves heard on both sides of the Iron Curtain. His service to this country has been faithful, conscientious, and highly effective.

Against this impressive record of achievement and of support, the objections to Mr. Jessup's appointment made during the hearings of the Senate subcommittee seem to me to be erroneous, and in some cases, simply the result of partisan politics.

The record of the hearings shows that charges to the effect that he was sympathetic to Communist causes were utterly without foundation, and some of the so-called documentation introduced in support of those charges bordered on fraud. And even two of the three members of the subcommittee who voted against his confirmation went to great pains to make it clear that they had no doubt of his loyalty and integrity.

Then, Ambassador Jessup was attacked for being at a meeting which he did not attend and for policy recommendations which he never made.

Despite his record of public service and despite the patent falseness of the charges made against him, it is alleged that the American people do not have confidence in Ambassador Jessup to do a job at which he has been conspicuously successful three times before. This I find unbelievable. The American people make their judgments on the basis of fact and on the basis of performance.

I find no reason in the record of the hearings to change my high opinion of Mr. Jessup's qualifications for this post. I consider him particularly qualified to serve as a representative of the United States to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Accordingly, I am giving him a recess appointment.

Note: On September 13 the White House announced the nomination as Representatives to the United Nations of Warren R. Austin, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Michael J. Mansfield, John M. Vorys, and Philip C. Jessup. The following were nominated Alternate Representatives: John Sherman Cooper, Ernest A. Gross, Benjamin V. Cohen, Anna Lord Strauss, and Channing H. Tobias.

The White House press release announcing the nominations stated that Secretary of State Dean Acheson would serve as Chairman of the Delegation, and in his absence Ambassador Austin, as Senior Representative of the United States, would serve as Chairman of the Delegation.

The press release also stated that in continuation of the practice that had been reestablished in 1950 of having Members of Congress participate in the Delegation to the General Assembly, Representatives Mansfield and Vorys had been selected after consultation with the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

All of those nominated except Mr. Jessup were confirmed by the Senate on October 19.

Mr. Jessup served as a Representative under the recess appointment granted on October 22, and was not renominated before the session closed on February 5, 1952.

Harry S. Truman, Statement by the President on the Recess Appointment of Philip C. Jessup to the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231110

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