The Senate: Preliminary Considerations



The Senate considered arms control and disarmament on several occasions during the Kennedy administration. In 1961, it passed the bill to establish the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency by an impressive vote of 73 to 14. However, many members had been skeptical about the possibility or desirability of achieving arms control. For example, 33 members voted for a motion by Senator Everett M. Dirksen to refer the bill creating ACDA to the Committee on Armed Services, a move designed to weaken and probably kill the Agency. Doubts about disarmament were more forcibly expressed at that time when an amendment offered by Senator Barry Goldwater to limit the authority of the Agency was narrowly defeated by a vote of 43 to 46.1 Authorization bills for ACDA always drew substantially more opposition than money bills for the Department of Defense.


Atomic Energy Commission Foreign Relation Preliminary Consideration Senate Committee Congressional Record 
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  1. 1.
    Congressional Record, June 17, 1963, pp. 10958-10964. For a discussion of treaties and executive agreements, see Elmer Plischke, Conduct of American Diplomacy ( 2nd ed.; Princeton: D. Van Nostrand, 1961 ), pp. 370 - 442.Google Scholar
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    Contributions are calculated on the column inches of questions asked by a Senator and the column inches of the answer. Answers are included because the Senators were under ten minute time limitations and so if the witness spent too much time answering, he was sometimes cut off. Furthermore, Senator Fulbright, as chairman, was extremely cautious to give the ranking members of the Senate ample time and enforce the ten minute limit more often on junior members, a bias in favor of high seniority members. Furthermore, the combination gives an indication to what extent a Senator controlled the hearings.Google Scholar
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    Overlapping membership is not counted here. Thus, one Democratic space was omitted because Senator Russell, Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, was second ranking Democratic member of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. Senators Hickenlooper and Aiken, ranking Republicans on the Committee on Foreign Relations, held identical places on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, thereby reducing the number of leadership places attributed to the Republicans by two.Google Scholar
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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1970

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