January 2014 Auction Ends Thursday, January 30th, 5pm Pacific


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Dwight D. Eisenhower typed letter signed as President, dated 3 April 1956 on ''Personal and Confidential'' White House letterhead. Here, Eisenhower writes to his more conservative brother, Edgar, laying out the unintended consequences of the Bricker Amendment were it to be passed (it ultimately was not). Particularly, Eisenhower envisions the implications it would have on disarmament in Russia, which the President saw as vital. Reads in full: ''Dear Ed: Here are the elements of a legal problem that I put up to you for an opinion. I admit that you can, like the Supreme Court, refuse to answer a hypothetical question, but in my position I am forced to consider these and make decisions on the conclusions I form. Let us make certain assumptions. (a) That the Bricker Amendment has been passed in a form somewhat as follows: 'Any treaty or other international agreement that is in violation of any provision of this Constitution shall have no force or effect.' (b) That I, with the State Department, have at last succeeded in establishing satisfactory mutual inspectional systems with the Russians of which -- as a preliminary to a partial disarmament plan -- the purpose would be to get a plan started that would initially allow us to cut some five to six billions off a thirty-seven billion annual expenditure program for the armed services. (We are now talking in very great amounts; sums that account in their total for far more than half our yearly budget.) Now as this international arrangement proceeds, we are very careful to look into all of the hidden repositories of arms and armaments that we Russians would have. For example, we would demand that the forces of their satellites, as well as of the so-called independent Republics -- the Ukraine and so on -- all be counted in the total armaments to which the Soviets would be entitled. In the same way, we would have to agree that we were talking about the sum total of warlike arms and armaments maintained in the whole United States. Of course the Russians know every single detail of our organization, including our Federalized form of government. Quite naturally, therefore, they will say that, since the matter of reserves is always important to a military system, the National Guard must be included in the framework of the military structure our country could maintain. This would be only fair. So, we assume that in this treaty the United States and the Soviets succeed in devising a mutually agreeable disarmament plan on the basis I have just outlined. It would be one in which we would have every confidence because of our unlimited power of inspection to see that the other fellow didn't break its terms. He would have the same privilege with respect to us. (c) Now we assume that the treaty goes before the Senate where it is received with great acclaim because it offers some beginning to the lifting of the great burden of armaments; a burden that is not only in itself depressing and damaging to our efforts to raise standards, but carries the threat always of an unspeakable type of war. So we assume that the treaty passes with practically a unanimous vote in the Senate. (d) The next assumption is that some State decides to maintain -- at its own expense -- larger armaments than the Federal Government had agreed to in the treaty. It does so under the second amendment to the Constitution, which you remember states that the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. My question is: What is the answer? If you do know the answer, please let me have it at your convenience because no one else to whom I have talked sees any real way out of the difficulty. But I do know that if we don't, in the years immediately ahead of us, find some way to stop this arms race, this poor old world is in for a kind of trouble that it has never before experienced. It could be so serious as to leave any discussion about the Constitution largely academic. On a lighter subject, I have decided to go to Augusta on the ninth of April, returning here the evening of the sixteenth or the morning of the seventeenth. I hope these dates are such that we can arrange to have a game here in Washington after I return, or that you could come down to Augusta for a couple of rounds there. I think that my son John will be flying down to join me on Thursday morning, the twelfth, and he will stay through Sunday, the fifteenth. If that could fit in with any plans of yours, I could arrange for you to fly down and back with him. I can get you plenty of clubs and equipment of that sort, but my shoes are too large for you. Love to Lucy and Janis, and as always the best to yourself...'' Signed boldly, ''D.E.'' Four page letter, measuring 7'' x 10.25'', has expected folds from mailing, else near fine.
Exceptional Dwight D. Eisenhower Letter Signed as President -- Regarding the Soviet Arms Race, Nuclear Threat of an ''unspeakable type of war'', Military Spending & the 2nd Amendment
Exceptional Dwight D. Eisenhower Letter Signed as President -- Regarding the Soviet Arms Race, Nuclear Threat of an ''unspeakable type of war'', Military Spending & the 2nd Amendment
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Minimum Bid: $2,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0
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Auction closed on Thursday, January 30, 2014.
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