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understanding of it, and I think the witness is entitled to clarify his testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. You can answer the question. Mrs. Bolton. My question was this: Your understanding of the foreign end of the Monroe Doctrine "that in wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we do not take any part and that it is very definitely against the policy to do so; that we do not interfere in the internal concerns of those powers”—is that
your understanding Mr. MacNIDER. That is exactly what I had in mind.
Mrs. BOLTON. That was all of the Monroe Doctrine which I wanted to ask about. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Eberharter?
Mr. WASIELEWSKI. Colonel MacNider, I believe there are two important matters on which you and the majority of the committee agree, and they are that we do not wish to get into war, and the second that we would like to see the democracies victorious in this battle abroad. Now, do you believe that Hitler has any designs on the Western Hemisphere! Mr. MacNIDER. I do not know.
Mr. WASIELEWSKI. Now, should Hitler prevail in this battle and attempt to take over any South American countries, either by infiltration or by military conquest, under the Monroe Doctrine do you not believe we would be automatically drawn into combat with him? Mr. MacNIDER. Yes.
Mr. WASIELEWSKI. Under those circumstances the war would be brought pretty close to our door, would it not?
Mr. MACNIDER. Well, that is not very close. Mr. WASIELEWSKI. It would be brought into the Western Hemisphere, anyway?
Mr. MACNIDER. Yes Mr. WASIELEWSKI. Now, if events take a turn, which we hope heaven will protect us from, and we should be brought into conflict, do you believe that it would be far better for us to keep it from our shores rather than have it brought to us directly?
Mr. MacNIDER. That is assuming we are already at war? Am I right? Mr. WASIELEWSKI. Yes. Mr. MacNIDER. Certainly. I would take it to them.
Mr. WASIELEWSKI. Then under those circumstances the bill we have under discussion before us is a bill which in its opening statement sets forth it is for the purpose of promoting the defense of the United States through giving assistance to democracies that are engaged in battle today. Do you not believe we can assure our being kept out of war by giving all possible aid to Great Britain and other democracies?
Mr. MACNIDER. Well, I do, if we stay within the laws that are now upon our statute books. Mr. W ASIELEWSKI. Thank you. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Sikes?
Mr. SIKES. Colonel MacNider, there is a point I would like to see clarified. You stated a little while ago that in your opinion a victorious Germany would have to trade with this country. Is that true? Do you believe that?
Mr. MAONIDER. No; I did not say that. .
Mr. SIKES. As I understood the question it was whether a victorious Germany would have to trade with us and you agreed. That was my understanding
Mr. MacNIDER. That is not what I intended to say.
The CHAIRMAN. Colonel MacNider, this committee appreciates very, very much your being here today and
your testimony is very welcome. Nr. MACNIDER. I thank you, Mr. Bloom, and thank you for your courtesy.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair wishes to announce that tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock we will have Colonel Lindbergh as a witness before the committee. The first three rows will be reserved for Members of Congress and their wives, who want to hear the testimony given here tomorrow by Colonel Lindbergh and General Johnson, who, I believe, will be heard in the afternoon. The doors will be open in time to allow the people to take their seats in the other part of the hall, but the first three rows will be reserved for Members of Congress and their wives.
The committee stands adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 4:30 p. m., the committee took a recess until 10 a. m., Thursday, January 23, 1941.)
THURSDAY, JANUARY 23, 1941
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10 a. m., Hon. Sol Bloom (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will kindly come to order. Our witness this morning, before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House, is Col. Charles A. Lindbergh.
STATEMENT OF COL. CHARLES A. LINDBERGH, LLOYD NECK,
NEW YORK The CHAIRMAN. Colonel, we shall be very glad to have you proceed at this time.
Colonel LINDBERGH. May I have permission to read an outline of what I believe the committee is interested in, from the invitation that I received to appear here?
The CHAIRMAN. Colonel, you may proceed in any way you see fit and make any statement you wish. The committee appreciates your coming here to give us what information you may have to offer with reference to the legislation that we have under consideration. Please proceed in your own way.
Colonel LINDBERGH. Thank you, sir.
I understand that I have been asked to appear before this committee to discuss the effect of aviation upon America's position in time of war. I believe that this effect can be summed up briefly by saying that our position is greatly strengthened for defense and greatly weakened for attack.
I base this statement upon two facts. First, that an invading army and its supplies must still be transported by sea. Second, that aviation makes it more difficult than ever before for a navy to approach a hostile shore.
In support of these facts, I cite, for the first, the minute carrying capacity of aircraft in relation to the weight of equipment and supplies required for a major expeditionary force; and for the second, the experience of the British Navy off the Norwegian coast and in the North Sea.
I do not believe there is any danger of an invasion of this continent, either by sea or by air, as long as we maintain an Army, Navy, and Air Force of reasonable size and in modern condition, and provided we establish the bases essential for defense.
How large our air force should be in actual numbers depends, of course, upon conditions in other parts of the world. Because of the existing European crisis, I should say that we would be wise to construct as rapidly as possible a total air force of about 10,000 thoroughly
a modern fighting planes plus reserves. This number would, I believe, be adequate to insure American security regardless of the outcome of the present European war. Whether our air force should be increased or decreased in the more distant future will be decided by circumstances which we cannot now foresee. But an industry capable of building and maintaining a 10,000-plane air force would, † believe, have adequate flexibility to meet any emergency with which we might be confronted in this hemisphere.
Accompanying this expansion of our air force should be the construction of aviation bases in Newfoundland, Canada, the West Indies, parts of South America, Central America, the Galapagos Islands, the Hawaiian Islands, and Alaska. Secondary bases might be placed in parts of Greenland but, in my opinion, Greenland is not of primary importance from the standpoint of aviation bases.
Since many people are discussing the possibility of an air invasion of America, I would like permission to bring a few points to your attention in this connection. It is first necessary to establish clearly the difference between an air invasion where troops are landed, and a bombing raid where there is no attempt to establish a base on enemy territory. I will treat these two problems separately, for they are entirely different.
There has never been an invasion of enemy territory by air alone. The two outstanding examples of what might be called a partial air invasion were furnished by the German occupations of Norway and Holland. But in each of these instances, the landing of troops by air was carried on simultaneously with a ground army invasion on a major scale. The maximum number of troops that could have been transported and supplied by air would have been ineffective without the immediate support of a ground army. If air invasion alone could be successful, it would have been used by the Germans against England many months ago.
It is important to note that the transport of troops by air in Europe has been over a distance of a few hundred miles at most. An air invasion across the ocean is, I believe, absolutely impossible at this time, or in any predictable future. To be effective in America, enemy aircraft would have to operate from bases in America, and those bases would have to be established and supplied by sea. Aircraft alone are not capable of carrying a sufficient quantity of material.
Claims have been made that America might be subject to air invasion by way of Alaska or Greenland, where the distance between land is short. But such claims overlook the difficulties of climate and terrain in these semiarctic areas. If air routes to Asia and Europe through the north were preferable to the greater overwater distances farther south, they would have been used years ago by commercial air lines.
It is, of course, essential for us to maintain defense bases in Alaska. I believe that we should wage war with all of our resources if an invasion of Alaska or any other portion of America were attempted. But a sudden air invasion of this country by way of Alaska is out of the question. The conquest of Alaska would necessitate the movement of troops and supplies by ground and sea, the defeat of our own forces, and the establishment of enemy bases. Even if that could be accomplished, there is little likelihood that the wilds of Canada could be crossed and the United States invaded by an army based upon remote Alaskan outposts of Asiatic or European powers.
If an enemy were planning on an invasion of America, I believe that the route over Greenland is one of the last he would consider. I spent several weeks in Greenland in the summer of 1933, surveying the coasts for air bases, and studying the conditions that would be encountered in operating a northern air route. I came to the conclusion that of all the possible air routes between America and Europe, the one over Greenland would be the most difficult to establish and operate. Except for a rugged and mountainous strip around the coast, Greenland is covered with ice. The climate is uncertain and severe, the summer season is short, and the seas are filled with ice during the entire year.
The question of transoceanic bombing is, as I have said, entirely different from that of air invasion. It is, of course, perfectly possible, today, to build bombing planes that could cross the ocean, drop several tons of bombs, and return to their starting point. Transoceanic bombing raids could do considerable damage on peacetime standards, but they would have very little effectiveness on wartime standards. The cost of transoceanic bombing would be extremely high, enemy losses would be large, and the effect on our military position negligible. Such bombing could not begin to prepare the way for an invasion of this continent. If England is able to live at all with bases of the German air force less than an hour's flight away, the United States is not in great danger across the Atlantic Ocean. Not only is such bombing ineffective theoretically, but from a practical standpoint it is interesting to note that not a single squadron of transoceanic bombing planes exists anywhere in the world today.
I have, up to this point, attempted to show that aviation strengthens the defensive position of America. First, because it is impossible for an enemy to invade this continent by means of aircraft alone; second, because transoceanic bombing is indecisive; third, because our own air force makes it more difficult than ever before for an enemy to approach our shores. However, I believe that we are faced with the reverse situation when we contemplate sending our military forces abroad. Almost every advantage we have in defense would be a disadvantage to us in attack. It would then be our problem to cross the sea in ships, and force a landing against the established air bases of our enemy:
If one studies the situation objectively, it becomes obvious that there are three great centers of air strength in the world today; the United States, Germany, and Japan. Up to the present time, we have led in the development of commercial aviation, Germany has led in the development of military aviation, and Japan has led in the development of aviation in the Orient.
Since Oriental aviation is far behind that of western nations, one might say that there are two great aviation powers: one in America, and one in Europe. Personally, I do not believe it is possible for either America or Europe to invade the other successfully by air, or even by a combination of air, land, and sea, unless an internal collapse precedes invasion. In this sense, aviation has added to America's security against Europe, and to Europe's security against America.